When the daylight hours become longer and warmer weather rolls in, construction equipment rolls out onto Saskatchewan highways. The Government of Saskatchewan is reminding travellers to keep an eye out for highway construction zones across the province.

“The Ministry of Highways has crews working all over the province making improvements to our transportation network,” Highways Minister Jeremy Cockrill said. “Let’s keep them safe, so everyone gets home safe at night. We have lots of work going on and these slowdowns are only temporary.”

Some major construction projects will continue or be completed to improve safety and traffic flow, including:

* Continuing passing lanes and widening on Highway 5 from Saskatoon to Highway 2;

* Beginning construction of twinning projects near Rowatt and Corinne on Highways 6 and 39 between Regina and Weyburn; and

* Beginning upgrades on Highway 15 east of Kenaston between Highways 11 and 2.

“Provincial road builders employ close to 30,000 workers, making our industry one of the largest employers in the province and they are working to build Saskatchewan,” Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association President Shantel Lipp said. “We want to remind drivers to be patient and drive with caution while our builders go to work on the roads this season. This will help ensure their safety as well as yours.”

“Our members are pleased to work with our partners at the Ministry of Highways to make strategic improvements to the transportation network,” Association of Consulting Engineering Companies Saskatchewan Executive Director Bev MacLeod said. “These improvements will make the highway system better and safer for all the people of Saskatchewan.”

There are plans to improve another 1,000 kilometres (km) of highways, for a total of more than 4,600 km of highways improved over the last four years. Improvements this year include:

* 230 km of repaving;

* 300 km of medium treatments, like micro surfacing;

* 340 km of pavement sealing;

* 115 km of Thin Membrane Surface (TMS) and rural highway upgrades; and

* 35 km of gravel rehabilitation.

Highways will also invest $62.8 million to repair or rebuild 14 bridges and replace more than 100 culverts across the province. Significant bridge projects include:

* Replacing the Montreal River Bridge on Highway 2 near Weyakwin; and

* Rehabilitating the Highway 6 bridge over Regina’s Ring Road for traffic heading north into the city.

A weekly highway construction update is published on Saskatchewan.ca to provide drivers with the latest details on projects underway to help plan safe and efficient travel.  If you’re planning to travel, check the Highway Hotline at saskatchewan.ca/highwayhotline, which provides up-to-date information on construction, emergency road closures, the status of ferries, barges and other road activities. Information is also available by calling 5-1-1.

The Government of Saskatchewan has invested more than $12 billion in highways infrastructure since 2008, improving more than 19,400 kilometres of Saskatchewan highways.