The Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure recently unveiled fall tenders for projects for a record $437.4 million in highway work. That’s the largest total in Saskatchewan history.

As is the case with every tender schedule, our members wait with cautious optimism to see how and when these projects will hit the market. Needless to say, there’s a lot of work to be had and it’s certainly a welcomed sight for many in our industry.

Our government deserves praise for delivering an early schedule and for its willingness to work with industry to effectively deliver the work set to come out this year. We can believe this is a result of our tireless lobbying to government officials to have the tender schedule released as early as possible.

Clearly, the government understands the importance of kickstarting the economy as it took a massive blow earlier this year from the COVID-19 stimulus package. Our industry plays a major role in the restart of the economy.

As we’re well aware, early tendering is critical. More importantly, expediting the awarding of contracts is even more so to allow contractors to bid responsibly. Our members take on an extreme amount of risk during a routine construction season. However, this year is anything but routine.

With stimulus money granted to various municipalities and government agencies, a quick procurement process will be the key to our industry’s success or failure in the delivery of the program.

We’re aware much of the work will hit the market later in the year. But having an early game plan helps in planning for the year ahead. There will be bidding on stimulus projects tendered by RMs, cities and towns, as well as by the Water Security Agency. This is why it’s important that these upcoming projects are sequenced properly integrated where possible. 

We are now working with the province to ensure that happens both for the success of our industry and also for the economy. The quicker we can get to work, the quicker we can get people back to work.