WHEREAS many of the old, rural, wooden timber bridges have reached the end of their lifespan and are now failing at an accelerating rate but are still the vital link in getting agricultural goods to export markets and patching them is merely a high-priced temporary solution before the next problem arises;
WHEREAS the cost of a new bridge project from the SARM bridge department with its current construction design made for the Trans-Canada highway is extremely expensive and not at all necessary for lesser traveled country roads, and because of these high costs and tight budgets most RMs never have enough points under the current Municipal Roads for the Economy Program (MREP) to qualify for a new bridge;
WHEREAS because infrastructure capital is so tight and the provincial government never has enough money, we absolutely need to innovate and stretch our public transportation dollars;
BE IT RESOLVED SARM lobby the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure to work in collaboration with the private sector to seek a less expensive way to build a resilient, lower traffic volume bridge and allocate the critical funding required, bringing back the rural bridge infrastructure to a safe standard for today’s modern farming equipment and traveling public.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the current point system used to achieve funding under the Municipal Roads for the Economy Program be changed to reflect the needs of farmers, ranchers, agribusiness and the rural traveling public and not just the higher volume traffic areas of this province.
SARM’s response to the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure:
The MREP PMB received a response from Minister Marit regarding his resolution response to increase maintenance funding for CTP Corridor roads.
Due to the last two years of reduced annual MREP funding, the PMB could not consider an increase to the CTP Primary Weight incremental maintenance funding in 2018-19 MREP budget development.
The PBM will monitor provincial MREP budget allocations and in the event the MREP funding is reinstated to previous budget levels, considerations of increasing the CTP Primary Weight incremental maintenance funding will be reviewed at that time.
Additionally, pending the results of the CTP Program audit, unallocated funds could be reallocated to the CTP Primary Weight incremental funding.