From the office of Bob Bjornerud
Building the Regina Bypass
The Regina Bypass is part of our government’s record investments in infrastructure for a growing Saskatchewan. After 24 open houses and 44 different studies, we’ve weighed the pros and cons and have selected a route that will see 50-70% of truck traffic taken off of Highway 1 East.
Needed overpasses at Balgonie and White City will be open in two years, and a third overpass will open at Pilot Butte in four years. Overpasses will provide the long-term solution to traffic safety concerns in that area. For now, we’ve slowed traffic to 80 km/hr with photo radar and increased enforcement.
With 12 overpasses, 40 kilometres of twinned highway and 55 kilometres of service roads, the Bypass will be built as a public-private partnership (P3), saving $380 million. The project will be completed by 2019 – far sooner than a traditional build – and will protect taxpayers from construction cost overruns.
Record Construction Season in the Books
Improving infrastructure is a top priority for our government. That’s why we’re continuing to invest in Saskatchewan roads year-after-year, all within a balanced budget. Since 2008, the Government of Saskatchewan has invested a record $5.2 billion in transportation infrastructure.
This year’s record $842 million Highways and Infrastructure budget has led to a number of important improvements. Across the province, 370 kilometres of highway were repaved or received major upgrades. An additional 435 kilometres of road received significant maintenance, which will ensure existing infrastructure remains safe for years to come. Highlights include:
• the completion of Highway 7 passing lanes west of Saskatoon;
• grading and paving Highway 21 and 52 near Kerrobert;
• repaving Highway 1 through Swift Current; and
• upgrades to Buffalo Narrows Airport.
Additionally, crews made good progress on the Highway 16 twinning project east of Saskatoon, Highway 7 twinning west of Saskatoon, and the Stony Rapids Airport.
Work will continue on a number of projects into the 2016 construction season. Included are the Regina Bypass, 65 kilometres of major highway upgrades, 50 kilometres of repaving projects, and 80 bridge and culvert projects.
Province Confirms Commitment to Review Domestic Violence Deaths
Domestic violence deaths are a significant problem in Saskatchewan that simply must be addressed. Part of that is understanding why they happen. We will be working with our community partners to create a review process that will protect families from these tragic and largely preventable deaths.
The Ministry of Justice has considered the review processes that exist in other provinces. The structure and scope of our review model will be decided following discussions with the Chief Coroner’s office, community-based organizations, police, other government ministries and First Nations groups.
The Government of Saskatchewan also recently launched the #WhoWillYouHelpSK public awareness campaign aimed at addressing sexual violence and abuse in Saskatchewan. For more information, please visit http://www.saskatchewan.ca/whowillyouhelpsk.