Rebuild Saskatchewan Highway #21

Res #: 24-15A
Number: 24
Year: 2015
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No

WHEREAS Saskatchewan Highway 21 runs north and south of the RM and Village of Fox Valley and was built in the early 1960’s for trucks that only hauled 4 tonnes, not the present 43 tonnes; and

WHEREAS the rail line to Fox Valley was removed forcing farmers to haul grain either north or south to another rail line; and

WHEREAS the Provincial Government receives revenue from land sales; and

WHEREAS the Provincial Government receives royalties from resources; and

WHEREAS the Provincial Government receives revenue from the taxation of petroleum product sales; and

WHEREAS highways, roads and infrastructure in the areas of the province from which these resources are taken are severely stressed and damaged;

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to allocate extra revenue to rebuild Saskatchewan Highway 21 and all highways in Saskatchewan that need work.

Reponse from the Honourable Nancy Heppner, Minister of Highways and Infrastructure

The Ministry responded in letters addressed to Stephanie MacPail, R.M of Fox Valley No.171 and Rolande Davis, R.M. of Enterprise No. 142, concerning the upgrade of Highway 21 in the spring of 2014.  As stated in these letters, the Ministry is still challenged with approximately 5,200 km of thin membrane surface (TMS) road network. The current cost to rebuild one kilometre of TMS highway to a primary weight standard is approximately $800,000.  As you can see the cost of rebuilding TMS roads could potentially reach $4.2 billion.

The Ministry reviews the entire provincial highway system to ensure investments in infrastructure maximize economic and social benefits for the people of Saskatchewan. New capital investments are chosen using a rational, consistent and transparent prioritization process.

In addition, Larry Doke, MLA for Cutknife-Turtleford, was appointed Legislative Secretary to the Minister of Highways and Infrastructure on June 5, 2014. He has been asked to look specifically at opportunities and options for TMS highways across the province. As part of this task, Mr. Doke has met with RMs, town councils, and Area Transportation Planning Committees to understand their concerns and priorities and reflect them appropriately as resources become available.

In terms of highways throughout the province, I am proud to state that this year's Highways and Infrastructure budget is $842 million, the largest transportation budget in the province's history. Within this budget,$560 million has been allocated specifically for capital transportation projects. The aim will be to make investments that support the key priorities of supporting trade and investment, improving safety, improving quality of life and efficiently managing the transportation system.

As well, the Ministry continues to work with SARM and the federal government on SARM's Public Industry Partnership Program.

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to this Resolution.