Province announces construction projects for parks

Carrot River Valley MLA Fred Bradshaw speaks following an announcement by the federal government to fund improvements to 50 km of Highway 55. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

On May 20 the province announced that this summer construction of more than $90.5 million will take place this season in and around Saskatchewan’s parks, including 11 highway paving and upgrade projects, improvements to three parks access roads and paving inside six parks.

“With travel to other provinces discouraged due to the pandemic, we know residents are looking forward to getting out of the house to experience Saskatchewan’s robust provincial park system,” Highways Minister Fred Bradshaw said in a release.

“We are investing in these improvements to make our parks and the highways that lead to them more attractive, safe and accessible while also helping to keep people working.”

Visitors to Rowan’s Ravine Provincial Park will notice work has already begun to repave the access road leading to the park, the Underwood campground loops, the boat launch and parking lot.Access roads leading to Good Spirit Lake and Danielson Provincial Park will also be repaved.

“This year has seen record-breaking bookings for our provincial parks and these investments are great for our parks and the highways leading toward them,” Last Mountain-Touchwood MLA Travis Keisig said.

“This summer will be a Saskatchewan summer and I am looking forward to seeing residents enjoying a smooth ride to see what our parks have to offer.”

More than $5.2 million of paving will occur within Saskatchewan parks, including $650,000 at Douglas Provincial Park, $745,000 at Good Spirit Lake Provincial Park, $645,000 at Great Blue Heron Provincial Park, $750,000 at Greenwater Lake Provincial Park, $1.1 million at Katepwa Point Provincial Park and $1 million at Rowan’s Ravine Provincial Park.

According to the province these investments will improve boat launches, parking lots, park roads and pathways and campground areas.Work to pave the park loops at Douglas Provincial Park has already been completed.

The Government of Saskatchewan is improving more than 1,350 km of provincial highways this year, the second of its 10-year Growth Plan goal to build and upgrade 10,000 km of highways. With this year’s projects, the province is ahead of the pace needed to meet this target.

Construction and maintenance work is posted on the Highway Hotline. Drivers are advised to check the Hotline before travelling to find out about construction-related delays or detours.

The Ministry of Highways will be investing $300 million in highways stimulus funding over several years into thin-membrane surface upgrades, passing lanes and improvements to municipal roads and airports. This is a part of the province’s $2 billion stimulus initiative, designed to aid the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.