April 06, 2021

$830 Million Budget Protects And Builds Our Highways System

An $830 million investment in Saskatchewan's highways in 2021 will protect Saskatchewan drivers, build new roads and grow our economy.

"The highways budget contains more than $800 million dollars in highways investments that protect citizens by making our highways safer," Highways Minister Fred Bradshaw said.  "These investments will build capacity so we are positioned for renewed economic growth once the pandemic is in the rear view mirror."

Budget 2021-22 provides $520 million for strategic capital investments to improve safety and efficiency on key highway corridors.  One of the key commitments is twinning Highway 3 to roughly eight kilometres west of Prince Albert, as part of a safety review.  Design is scheduled to occur in 2021 with the contract being tendered this fall and completion in fall 2022.

Major construction projects will continue with construction and design of passing lane projects to increase safety and improve traffic flow, including:

Multiple stimulus passing lane projects on Highways 2, 3, 12, 14 and 16;

  • Three sets of passing lanes on Highway 7 - Kindersley to the Saskatchewan-Alberta border;
  • Two sets of passing lanes and widening on Highway 5 - Saskatoon to Highway 2; and
  • Completing the remaining passing lanes on Highway 39 - Corrine to Estevan.

The Government of Saskatchewan will improve 1,350 kilometres of provincial highways, the second year of its 10-year Growth Plan goal to build and upgrade 10,000 km of highways.  Those improvements include:

  • 250 km of repaving;
  • 510 km of pavement sealing;
  • 225 km of medium treatments, like micro surfacing;
  • 25 km of gravel rehabilitation;
  • 280 km of Thin Membrane Surface (TMS) and rural highway upgrades, including 100 km delivered through stimulus funding; and
  • 60 km of twinning and passing lanes.  

Highways will invest $44.5 million to rehabilitate or replace 14 bridges and multiple culverts across the province.

Government continues to invest in intersections and road safety.  This is the third year of a five-year $100 million commitment. In 2021-22, Highways will invest $22 million in road safety projects around the province, including:

  • A flashing warning light at the junction of Highway 55 and Highway 240;
  • Intersection illumination at the junction of Highway 9 and Highway 18;
  • Intersection rumble strips at the junction of Highway 9 and Highway 22;
  • Intersection improvements on Highway 364 at Balgonie;
  • Intersection improvements at the junction of Highway 11 and North Grid Road north of Dundurn;
  • Pedestrian crosswalk at Birch Hills; and
  • Intersection sight triangle and right-of-way sightline improvements across the province.

Highways will invest an additional $455,000 in its mowing program to enhance safety and improve control of noxious weeds.  This will increase our mowing program by 22 per cent, delivering roughly 7,500 kilometres of additional right-of-way mowing, including a second cut to many rural highways.

This year's budget maintains a $1.6 million increase in our pavement marking program, another important safety investment.  It also includes a $530,000 increase in maintenance funding on TMS highways (highways most vulnerable network) to ensure needed maintenance work is completed prior to winter.

The budget also includes investments in shortline railways and municipal transportation infrastructure, including:

  • $28 million to support economic growth and safety on rural municipal roads, including $13 million through stimulus;
  • $6.6 million for construction and maintenance partnerships with urban municipalities;
  • $800,000 in partnership funds for low-volume TMS and gravel roads;
  • $1.5 million, including $650,000 in stimulus funding, to support community airport improvements that when combined with matching partner funds create a $3.0 million investment; and
  • $530,000 in new funding for improvements to shortline railways.

With this year's budget, the Government of Saskatchewan has invested more than $10.6 billion in highways infrastructure since 2008, improving more than 17,100 kilometres of Saskatchewan highways.