Saskatchewan government invests $50M for improved safety on Highway 16

Over $50 million worth of passing lanes on Highway 16 is expected to be completed by the end of construction season, with weather permitting. File / Global News

Weather permitting, there will be 28 passing lanes and multiple intersection upgrades on Highway 16 by the end of this construction season in Saskatchewan.

The provincial government is funding over $50 million for the passing lanes and upgrades. The work is expected to improve safety along the major transportation corridor.

According to a media release, the passing lanes extend on the Yellowhead Highway east of Saskatoon from the communities of Clavet to Dafoe, and in the Yorkton area from Springside to Saltcoats.

“Passing lanes have proven to be a safe and effective solution for heavier traffic volume areas and allow vehicles to pass slower moving vehicles safely, such as large trucks and semi-trailers,” said Highway’s Minister Jeremy Cockrill in a release.

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“The passing lanes will improve traffic flow supporting travellers as well as industry along this busy transportation corridor.”

The province stated that passing lanes are typically a minimum of two kilometres in length and will continue to be constructed in other areas of the province including Highway 12 from Martensville to Highway 312.

It is expected that 21 additional passing lanes will be open on highways 12 and 16 by the end of 2022.

“We welcome these improvements to Highway 16, as passing lanes limit the risk of serious motor collisions when used correctly,” stated Kelly Prime, of Crestvue Ambulance, Midway Ambulance and Shamrock Ambulance. “They allow motorists to pass safely at posted highway speed limits.”

The province said the passing lanes are part of a key investment through a two-year $2-billion stimulus program to benefit drivers and that the investment was targeted to help drive economic recovery from the global pandemic.

The Saskatchewan government has invested more than $11.5 billion in highways since 2008, improving more than 18,400 km of Saskatchewan roads.

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