The Government of Saskatchewan is making an additional $3 million in capital funding available to improve conditions on highways in Saskatchewan’s smaller cities. The additional funding will boost capital dollars in the Urban Highway Connector Program (UHCP) to $10 million over two years.
“We committed to making the investments necessary to ensure a strong economic recovery for our province,” Premier Scott Moe said. “This funding boost will create jobs, enhance safety and support transportation infrastructure in our municipalities.”
UHCP was created in 2008 to provide stable funding and service levels on highways within city limits that connect to the provincial networks. The program provides financial assistance to urban municipalities for the maintenance, operation and rehabilitation of these roadways.
UHCP funded significant rehabilitation projects in Regina, Estevan, and Yorkton in the 2020-21 budget year, along with lighting upgrades in Lloydminster and starting a regional planning project in the Swift Current area. Rehabilitation projects in Prince Albert, Estevan, Meadow Lake, Lloydminster, Humboldt, North Battleford, Moose Jaw and Yorkton have been identified as priorities in the UHCP’s multi-year plan.
Through a detailed review of UHCP, towns and cities requested changes to the program. One of the most significant changes is the Ministry of Highways assuming 100 per cent of the maintenance and rehabilitation costs for urban connectors in Saskatchewan towns as of April 1, 2021, reducing the number of municipalities competing for UHCP dollars each year. Changes are also being made to how funding is allocated to Regina and Saskatoon.
The Government of Saskatchewan is meeting its target of improving more than 1,000 km of provincial highways this year, the first of its 10-year Growth Plan goal to build and upgrade 10,000 km of highways.
Since 2008, the province has invested more than $200 million into improving urban highways in Saskatchewan over and above municipal revenue sharing. During that same period, the Government of Saskatchewan has invested more than $9.8 billion in highways infrastructure, improving more than 15,800 km of Saskatchewan highways.