Rural Integrated Roads for Growth Program

Res #: 14-24A
Number: 14
Year: 2024
Midterm: No
Expired: No
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways

WHEREAS the Rural Integrated Roads for Growth (RIRG) program Policy Manual, Section 4, Policy 1: Project Eligibility, Point 1 states:

“The proposed project roadway shall:

c) Have a Rural Road Classification of 3,4, or 5 or the roadway is designated as a Clearing the Path corridor.”

WHEREAS the RIRG program Policy Manual, Section 4, Policy 2: Road Design Requirements, Point 3 states:

“The design of the roadway shall meet the following requirements:

a)  Minimum design speed of 90km/h;

b)  Minimum road top width of 8.6m, crowned with a cross slope of 3 to 4%;

c)  Minimum right-of-way of 42m;

i)  The right-of-way shall be purchased and cleared;

ii)  The roadway centreline shall be located on the centre of the 42m right-of-way;

d)  Maximum side slope steepness shall be determined as follows:

i)  Locations with a maximum fill height less than or equal to 4.15 m;

–  Side slope steepness shall be 4:1;

ii)  Locations with a maximum fill height greater than 4.15 m and less than or equal to 5.55m:

–  Side slope steepness shall be varied between 4:1 and 3:1;

–  The toe of the fill shall be at 21 m from road centerline; and

–  Any other present or eminent characteristics of the location that would adversely affect the safety of the location shall be identified and suitably mitigated, and the Engineer may request advice from the Program Administrator;

iii)  Locations with maximum fill heights greater than 5.55 m in height;

–  Proposed side slope steepness shall be approved by the PMB.

–  The Road Authority shall contact the Program Administrator to receive information regarding the approval process.

e)  Minimum ditch width of 4 m;

i)  Maximum ditch backslope steepness of 3:1 inside property line;

ii)  Maximum ditch backslope steepness of 6:1 to 10:1 outside the property line, or required by any easement agreement;

f)  Maximum gradient of 8%;

g)  For curves:

i)  Maximum super elevation of 0.08 m/m;

ii)  Minimum curve radius of 300 m; and

iii)  Spiral Transitions shall be required for curve radius of 400 m or less.”

WHEREAS rural municipalities would rarely meet these requirements for funding.

BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the provincial government to expand project eligibility under the RIRG program by revisiting the Road Design Requirements so that more rural municipalities qualify for funding.

Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure

April 8, 2024

The ministry helps support municipal road infrastructure through the Rural Integrated Roads for Growth (RIRG) program. Given the program’s importance in planning, constructing, and maintaining rural municipal transportation infrastructure that supports economic growth and aligns with provincial interests, our government recently announced a $2.4 million increase to the 2024-25 RIRG budget.

Minimum design standards are required to ensure that the provincial funding provided through the RIRG program is invested in safe roads that support the regional economy. These roads must be able to safely accommodate heavy trucks travelling at high speeds. The design standards, which are based on science and experience, have proven effective on similar roads across different jurisdictions over many years.

A consultant was hired by the RIRG’s Program Management Board (PMB) to ensure the program was still supporting the economic growth and safety goals of rural municipalities and the province. The consultant noted many other jurisdictions use similar design standards to develop rural economic corridors that connect rural areas to markets and opportunities. The PMB, including SARM members, decided to retain current design standards.

The PMB recognizes that there are situations where it may be challenging to meet these standards on short segments of a road due to physical constraints. Rural municipalities (RMs) can apply for exceptions in these cases, which a technical committee will review. Exceptions will only be granted on short segments where there are no other options and not for the sole purpose of reducing project costs.

The PMB will continue to periodically review the RIRG program policies, including the road design requirements. RIRG has an official feedback mechanism ( where RMs can provide comments and suggestions, which the PMB will consider.

I appreciate the opportunity to respond to these resolutions.

Hon. Lori Carr – Minister of Highways