Sask budget offers record amount for construction spending

REGINA — The 2009-10 provincial budget from the Saskatchewan government boosts transportation spending to $630 million – the largest transportation budget in the province’s history.

“We’re investing in strategic transportation links to support our growing economy and addressing our infrastructure deficit through an aggressive plan to ensure the safety and security of our highway and bridge network," Highways and Infrastructure Minister Wayne Elhard said.

The $630 million Highways and Infrastructure budget represents a 19 percent increase from last year. Construction will continue and commence on a total of 1,580 km of highways in 2009-10.

Key investments to support economic growth include:

– $140 million for an Integrated Rural Highway Strategy, including $100 million for construction on more than 250 km of rural highways and a 5,000 km expansion of the primary weight highway network; and $40 million for a new municipal bridge and road strategy to provide seamless integration of the municipal road and provincial highway networks;
– $23 million to continue twinning Highway 11 between Saskatoon and Prince Albert;
– $20 million for Stage 1 construction of supporting road infrastructure for the Global Transportation Hub;
– $15 million for Stage 1 construction of the Lewvan and Highway 1 interchange;
– $11 million for urban highway connector improvements; and
– $9 million for Stage 1 construction of supporting road infrastructure for the Yorkton Industrial Area.

Also included in the 2009-10 Budget is $37 million to support economic growth in northern Saskatchewan, in addition to $10 million for work in progress on the Wollaston Lake Road and Highway 155.

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