WHEREAS the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure (MHI) are in the care and control of the Saskatchewan provincial highway system, weight classifications and restrictions.
WHEREAS MHI has established and designated primary weight and over dimensional routes throughout the province to promote safe and efficient movement of people and goods through Saskatchewan cities and larger urban centers;
WHEREAS the Urban Highway Connector Program has been established by the provincial government providing funding to assist in the costs associated with the operation and maintenance of these established urban connectors;
WHEREAS some of these overweight or over dimensional loads may be too large to pass through the designated routes established within the urban corridors and or/provincial highways, therefore requiring the routes for these loads established by the provincial permitting office to pass over municipal roads;
WHEREAS the only funding provided to a rural municipality to assist with the maintenance and operation of these roads is the provincially regulated overweight/over dimensional permit fee;
WHEREAS these fees do not come close to covering the potential impact to these municipal roads nor the administrative burden to ensure that proper permitting is in place prior to the goods being moved through the respective municipality;
BE IT RESOLVED that the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure, along with the Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) permitting office, review the permitting process for overweight and/or over dimensional loads, and set aside a fund within the Urban Connector Program to further compensate rural municipalities based upon miles of municipal roads used per year that are utilized as urban bypass routes to move goods in a safe and efficient manner.
Response From The Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure:
January 6, 2020
In March 2014, MHI undertook a study on the impact of overweight vehicles, more specifically, overweight vehicles with non-divisible loads or permanently-mounted equipment operating on RM roads. The study used maintenance and operation information from four RMs located in both oil and non-oil producing areas of the province. The study was overseen by a steering group comprised of representatives from MHI, SARM, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Government Relations, and Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI).
The results of the study determined that the fees RMs charged for overweight vehicles should be increased to include both the existing administration fee, and incremental maintenance and operation fees. To ease the implementation and administration of the overweight fees, a flat fee of $25 per trip was added to the existing $25 administration fee. The following is the fee schedule that RMs are able to charge carriers.
This fee change was implemented July 9, 2018.
It should be noted that the current fee charged to the trucking industry for overweight vehicles is $0.10 per kilometer travelled, which is far less than the permit fees charged by the RMs for the use of their roads.
The Urban Highway Connector Program (UHCP) is currently undergoing a review and, as part of the review, MHI hosted extensive consultations and received feedback from the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association and UHCP eligible communities. The urban municipalities advised on the need for reducing the complexity of the program and improving the condition of the Urban Highway Connectors. Application based funding requests for capital projects (including urban bypass routes, etc.) will continue to be considered. RMs can also work in partnership with their adjacent urban municipalities on submitting an Urban Highway Connector Program application to MHI, on potential capital projects. MHI is planning to engage with the urban municipalities about changes to the UHCP in the spring of 2020.
SGI, SARM and MHI have met previously to discuss options for improved communication of permits with affected RMs, and the possibility of tracking permitted loads in the RMs. MHI would be pleased to work with SARM on this issue.
Greg Ottenbreit - Minister of Highways and Infrastructure