By Shantel Lipp, SHCA President
It’s encouraging to see the Government of Saskatchewan continue to invest in highway infrastructure projects in this province.
More than $220 million in road construction tenders is earmarked for the 2018 season – a substantial increase from the $174 million set aside just two years ago for 2016.
It’s never too early to plan for next year. Long-term investments and early tendering significantly help our industry when it comes to future planning and hiring a sufficient number of crews to assist with these upcoming projects.
Because much of what we do is seasonal, our workers appreciate advance notice for available projects. This allows them to plan for stable employment and income several months in the future.
We enjoyed a busy 2017 season and no doubt our members will have their crews secured, lined up and ready to go as early as the weather allows next spring.
Included in those tenders for 2018 is approximately 550 kilometres of surface improvements, more than 30 construction contracts, about half a dozen bridge and culvert projects and more than a dozen crushing and stockpiling contracts.
Regardless the state of our provincial budget, money spent on infrastructure is money well spent. This type of investment fuels our provincial economy and allows for more efficient means of trade and other business opportunities.
We realize not every kilometre of highway in this province can receive the attention it may warrant. Over the years we have improved a number of roadways that greatly impact our trade and transport ventures, keep our tourism industry humming and assure residents in rural communities a safe and smooth ride.
In 2017, the provincial government had more than $850 million worth of work in progress or completed. Saskatchewan has invested $7.4 billion in transportation infrastructure since 2008 and has improved more than 12,000 kilometres of provincial highways.