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Report from the Legislature

November 2, 2017

Report from the Legislature
November 2, 2017

We have heard from Saskatchewan people and they're telling us that too many rural areas still have poor cellular coverage and slow internet service.

In the Throne Speech, we announced that SaskTel will spend $300 million this year to expand and enhance its network with more investments to come.

Since 2008, SaskTel has invested more than $2.6 billion to improve service and the upgrades need to continue.

From cellular and internet service to highways, trade-dependent jurisdictions like Saskatchewan require modern and well-maintained infrastructure to ensure they can compete and prosper.

During a decade of growth, our government has invested more than $26 billion to renew and expand Saskatchewan's infrastructure. This includes the repair and improvement of 12,000 kilometres of highway and the completion of significant projects, such as Saskatoon's Circle Drive South Bridge, the St. Louis Bridge, the twinning of Highway 11, and passing lanes on Highways 7 and 10.

This year, work continues on projects that include the Regina Bypass, overpasses at Warman and Martensville the Saskatoon North Commuter Parkway Bridge, twinning projects on Highways 39, 16 and 7, and passing lanes on Highway 5.

The growth of Saskatoon, Humboldt and the communities in between, combined with the strength of the Saskatchewan economy, has brought more traffic to Highway 5.

The first milestone of a multi-phase plan to improve safety – two new sets of passing lanes – are now open to traffic on Highway 5 from Humboldt to the junction of Highway 2. Final paving on one of the new passing lanes will be completed in 2018, but will be fully operational in the meantime. The Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure is also undertaking planning for additional safety improvements on Highway 5 between Highway 2 and Saskatoon.

In recent years, passing lanes have also been installed on Highway 10 between Balgonie and Fort Qu'Appelle as well as on Highway 7 near Rosetown. The response to the installation of passing lanes from first responders, municipalities and drivers has been overwhelmingly positive.

The Highway 5 passing lane project is part of 900 kilometres of highway improvements taking place across the province this year.

Improving safety in and around the Regina area, the Regina Bypass is helping to improve the traffic for commuters and commercial truckers. This week marked a major milestone for the project as the first phase of construction between Balgonie and Highway 33 is now complete.

Phase one of the project includes new overpasses at Balgonie, White City and Tower Road. It also includes new south and east service roads from Highway 33 to Pilot Butte, north service roads from Pilot Butte to Balgonie and south service roads from Pilot Butte to Balgonie.

The Pilot Butte interchange will be complete in 2018.

The Regina Bypass Design Builders will complete the remaining construction for the bypass in 2019. This includes the south route from Highway 33 to Highway 1 west including new interchanges at Highway 6 and 1. It also includes the west route from Highway 1 west to Highway 11 north, which includes overpasses at Hill Avenue, Dewdney Avenue, 9th Avenue and Highway 11.

The Regina Bypass is the largest infrastructure project in our province's history and is representative of our government's growth plan, and an opportunity to keep Saskatchewan growing stronger for years to come.

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