36 RMs to Receive Road Grants in First year of Plan
The provincial government is investing $28 million to improve rural roads in Saskatchewan rural municipalities (RMs). Thirty-six RMs will receive funding this year, which will cover up to 50 per cent of total projects’ costs to a maximum of $500,000.
This is the first year of a three-year plan with the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) to improve 100 rural roads through the Rural Integrated Roads for Growth (RIRG) program. The program will also provide grants to improve RM bridges. Details are being worked out and will be announced at a later date.
“Our government is investing in infrastructure that keeps our rural economies growing and improves safety,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister Greg Ottenbreit said. “This program supports rural infrastructure in addition to assisting with the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
In addition to helping RMs address their infrastructure challenges, the RIRG program also supports agriculture, energy, forestry and other rural-based sectors.
“Many rural areas are in dire need of investments to help alleviate the stress on their current infrastructure,” said Ray Orb, president of SARM. “The provincial program helps support the cost of constructing and upgrading municipal roads, bridges and culverts in rural Saskatchewan.”
“We continue to work with SARM on a plan to address RM bridges and expect to have details available in the coming weeks,” Ottenbreit said.
Formerly known as the Municipal Roads for the Economy Program, the RIRG will continue to assist RMs with the costs of constructing and upgrading municipal roads, bridges and culverts to support growth. One of the changes is allowing RMs to complete construction projects over two years.
Some rural road projects have been approved already, so work can begin this construction season. A second intake for additional projects will begin soon.
The Government of Saskatchewan has invested more than $9.8 billion in highways infrastructure since 2008, improving more than 15,500 km of Saskatchewan highways. Another $300 million in highways stimulus funds will be invested over the next two years to stimulate Saskatchewan’s economic recovery.