Funding for Municipal Bridges and Large Diameter Culverts
Res #: 14-19M
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure
WHEREAS there are approximately 1,500 rural municipal bridges in Saskatchewan;
WHEREAS many of these bridges require serious repair or replacement, which is very expensive;
WHEREAS bridges and large diameter culverts are not factored into “road related data” in the municipal revenue sharing formula;
WHEREAS without adequate funding, rural municipalities may have no choice but to close roadways and bridges that provide important access to the market for Saskatchewan’s many industries and natural resources, including agriculture;
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Ministry of Government Relations to include bridges and large diameter culverts in the provincial revenue sharing formula for rural municipalities;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the provincial government allocate sufficient funding for the preservation of wooden timber bridges and that this funding be available in conjunction with the Municipal Roads for the Economy Program’s three-year bridge inspection program;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a separate provincial municipal bridge and large diameter culvert fund be established to help rural municipalities with the cost of complete replacement when it becomes necessary.
Responses From: The Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure
January 6, 2020
Revisions to the provincial revenue sharing formula are made through the Ministry of Government Relations. If the rural municipalities (RMs) would like to include bridges and large diameter culverts in the revenue sharing formula, SARM may submit a proposal to Government Relations for consideration, when the rural revenue sharing formula is reviewed.
Grant funding to RMs for bridges and large culverts is a component of RIRG. A Program Management Board (PMB), comprised of SARM and MHI officials, work collaboratively to allocate the funding to benefit all the various RIRG components. I will ask the PMB to consider the resolution passed at the SARM Mid-Term Convention, regarding increasing the funding for bridges and large culverts.
SARM and the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure (MHI) recently completed a review of the entire Rural Integrated Roads for Growth (RIRG) (formerly the Municipal Roads for the Economy Program). As part of the process, extensive consultation was conducted and feedback was received from the RMs, who advised on the need for a proactive approach to address municipal bridge infrastructure. The review considered funding for bridge maintenance, repairs and rehabilitation (including wooden timber bridges).
I would also like to mention that MHI supported a bridge summit facilitated by SARM as part of the 2019 SARM Mid-Term Convention. The session included the needs of municipalities, bridge standards, design options and alternative procurement models.
Greg Ottenbreit – Minister of Highways and Infrastructure