Learn more about some of the projects in Saskatchewan by selecting a community name:
Core infrastructure for new subdivision
Project location: Allan
The Town of Allan is a rural community in west central Saskatchewan about 60 kilometres southeast of Saskatoon. Allan's population has been surging due to the booming potash industry. Increasing global demand for potash has also spurred plans for a significant mine expansion in 2012, meaning the town's growth will only continue.
With a vacancy rate near zero, housing in Allan is at a premium. New subdivisions are being built, but water and wastewater infrastructure is required to support these new developments.
Benefitting from a contribution from the Communities Component of the Building Canada Fund, installation of the vital underground infrastructure for the Alpine Crescent subdivision is now complete. The funding was part of a special top up allocation made available to provinces through the Economic Action Plan.
This project provides water mains, sewer lines, force mains, storm sewers and other utilities for 27 new homes in the area.
Federal contribution: $99,787
New sewage lift station
Project location: Carrot River
The Town of Carrot River, named for the wild carrots that grow along the river, is located in northeast Saskatchewan along the Canadian National Railway, about 180 kilometres from Prince Albert. It has a population of 2,400 and a local economy driven by agriculture, but also by logging and forestry. It also boasts a unique peat moss processing industry.
For some time, this rural town has endured health risks associated with high volumes of wastewater and sewage overflow incidents. With the construction of a new sewage lift station, sewage and wastewater systems have been dramatically improved.
This project, which was cost-shared between the Saskatchewan and federal governments, is preventing overflows and providing for the safe and efficient transfer of sewage to the town's primary wastewater treatment facilities. It has also created healthier, safer working conditions for employees by implementing new standards that align with current provincial health and safety regulations.
"This was a great aid to us because it saved our taxpayers from paying off long-term debt for many years," says Carrot River Mayor Jim Doherty.
"It's a real boost for a small town to get this kind of funding. [Without it, the project] probably also wouldn't have happened quite as quickly as it did."
Federal contribution: $100,050
Chaplin welcomes environmentally friendly water treatment facility thanks to federal Gas Tax Fund
Project location: Chaplin
The rural Village of Chaplin, located along the Trans-Canada Highway between Moose Jaw and Swift Current, is now home to an innovative new water treatment facility.
With financial support from the federal Gas Tax Fund and $451,718 from the Communities Component of the federal Building Canada Fund, the Village of Chaplin was able to replace a 60-year-old water treatment plant that needed a number of upgrades. The community also used part of its annual Gas Tax Fund allocation to pay for its share of the project.
The new water treatment facility incorporates an ozone-assisted biofiltration system. This system uses the micro-organisms naturally found in surface water to biologically degrade and disinfect contaminants. Ozone gas is then added to oxidise metals and organics, making it easier to filter them out. The new facility is also equipped with five ultraviolet sterilizers to prevent pathogens from reproducing.
Other than the chlorine added to maintain water quality during distribution, the system is completely chemical free, providing an environmentally sound solution for the Village Chaplin.
"Potable water is essential to our community," Chaplin Mayor Kyle Salikin said.
"One of council's priorities was to supply top quality water to our residents. Having this state-of-the-art treatment plant for the residents of Chaplin assures that safe, high-quality water will be provided for many years to come."
Federal contribution: $451,718 (BCF-CC) + part of the community's annual Gas Tax Fund allocation
Small communities find a collective solution
Project location: Dundurn
For several small communities in the Dundurn area south of Saskatoon, managing wastewater was becoming an increasing challenge.
In the Town of Dundurn, wastewater was treated in a lagoon operating at full capacity. The villages of Thode and Shields had no treatment system, so were collecting wastewater in a holding tank and then trucking it to out-of-town disposal sites at great expense.
Instead of building multiple, small aeration lagoons to serve the 5,000 residents in this rural area, officials in these communities decided to invest in one centralized regional treatment system. The new three-celled lagoon now collectively serves the Town of Dundurn, the Regional Municipality of Dundurn, the villages of Thode and Shields, several private developments on Lake Blackstrap and the Hillcrest Hutterite colony.
"The new lagoons are an environmentally responsible and more efficient solution to manage wastewater disposal services," noted R. Fred Wilson, Chair of the Dundurn and Area Wastewater Utility.
A similar approach is under way on a collective system to deliver potable water. When completed, it will serve 1,800 residents in six communities at about a third of the cost of building separate systems in each community.
This innovative approach was so successful that, in 2011, the Wastewater Utility won the Environmental Stewardship Award at the Saskatchewan Municipal Awards, and an Award of Merit from the Consulting Engineers of Saskatchewan.
This project was made possible, in part, by a contribution from the Communities Component of the federal Building Canada Fund.
Federal contribution: $3,040,333
More efficient provincial roads
Project location: Estevan
The Long Creek bridge, located about two kilometres from the US border and 15 kilometres south of Estevan is part of an extensive rural road network that serves the region's energy sector, the main employer in the area.
The previous wooden structure had reached the end of its service life and needed to be replaced. Its demise threatened to tie up traffic in all directions. Now, thanks to a contribution from the federal Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, a new bridge has been built over Long Creek.
Constructed of precast, pre-stressed concrete, the new bridge is wider and safer than the old structure. Steel guard rails have been added, and the load capacity dramatically increased.
Making the road safer for larger industrial vehicles means a more efficient provincial road network. The Government of Saskatchewan is also getting good value as the new bridge is expected to last one hundred years.
Federal contribution: $283,305
The heart of a community
Year-round family activity
Project location: Estevan
The fastest growing city in Saskatchewan has a new civic centre.
With the help of $5.1 million from the Communities Component of the federal Building Canada Fund, construction began in the fall of 2009 on the Civic Events Centre in Estevan, a city tucked into the southeast corner of the province.
The new complex has a total capacity of 3,664 people. It features large glazed windows for capturing natural light and energy efficient operating systems. The complex provides the region and city with a state-of-the-art venue for hockey, curling and figure skating. A full-service lounge overlooks the ice surface. A two-lane rubberized walking track helps promote year-round fitness for the region's walkers and joggers and is an integral part of track and field and gymnastics programs. Indoor soccer and lacrosse are now also possible. Eight large dressing rooms complete the new facilities.
The facilities will help Estevan attract sporting events — and the dollars they generate — to the region. The City also hopes to use the centre for concerts, conventions and cultural events.
The new Civic Events Centre is integrated into the existing Souris Valley Leisure and Aquatic Centre. The project has extended the life of the existing part of the new complex by introducing energy efficiencies into the retrofit and new construction.
Federal contribution: $5,100,000
Cleaner water with fewer chemicals
Project location: Flaxcombe
Water quality had long been a problem for the residents of Flaxcombe. The lack of high quality water also hampered the town's capacity to grow, despite its central location in a cattle and grain farming area and its proximity to the Kindersley oil fields.
Now, with $163,532 from the Communities Component of the federal Building Canada Fund, high-quality drinking water will soon be a reality in Flaxcombe.
According to Town Administrator Charlotte Helfrich, the town council did its homework. It researched and consulted with experts in the hunt for a system that would reduce turbidity in the water without the use of additional chemicals.
The solution turned out to be slow sand filtration. Environmentally friendly, the new system significantly reduces the use of chemicals used to treat raw water. Construction is now underway on a plant to house the new bio-filtration system.
This new supply of good, clean water is being attained with reduced environmental impact. Residents will benefit from reduced water treatment costs, and Flaxcombe will now be able to offer better water to potential residents and businesses.
Federal contribution: $163,532
Garden River Bridge was falling down
Project location: Garden River
As the saying goes, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. This becomes a challenge if the bridge is run-down and at the end of its service life.
The timber Garden River Bridge, situated in Saskatchewan's Rural Municipality of Garden River, was a structure in just such a state. East of Prince Albert, crossing the Garden River, this aging, single-lane bridge was a safety hazard and unable to support the weight of heavy truck traffic.
With financial support from the Government of Canada's Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, the bridge was replaced with a stronger, corrugated steel plate bridge boasting an estimated life span of more than 100 years.
The structure is wider and stronger, allowing easy passage for trucks and cargo vehicles travelling to local businesses, such as the diamond mine at Fort-a-la-Corne. It will also support the area's increasing tourist traffic.
Federal contribution: $166,667
New bridge improves highway network
Project location: Glen Bain
The old timber bridge over Notukeu Creek in the Rural Municipality of Glen Bain needed replacing. The structure was well past the end of its service life. Its relatively light weight limits restricted the type of vehicles that could use the crossing. Excessive pressure on the south abutment of the bridge had also led to soil erosion along the south riverbank.
The municipality received a financial contribution from the federal government through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund to replace the bridge.
Using modern construction techniques, the old superstructure of pre-stressed concrete stringers was replaced. Using steel pipe piles and precast concrete pile caps, the bridge deck was lengthened by nine metres. This brought the abutments further back from the sensitive creek bed to reduce riverbank erosion.
The new, wider structure can support more weight so detours for heavy vehicles are no longer required. This translates into less highway traffic and a more efficient provincial highway network.
Federal contribution: $175,000
Modernizing an outdated sewer system
Project location: Goodsoil
A functioning sewer system that removes wastewater with a simple flush is something that the average Canadian takes for granted. Not so for the northern Saskatchewan village of Goodsoil, just west of Meadow Lake.
Goodsoil's sewage collection system was unable to manage the village's flow of waste water. The outdated system, designed in 1972 to accommodate only one-third of the existing population, had become unreliable and unsanitary. Residents were often forced to replace their sewer pumps and some homes needed two pumps to overcome line pressure issues. The system finally collapsed in 2005 after a heavy rainfall overwhelmed the inadequate pipes.
With financial support from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, Goodsoil installed a double-celled lagoon and new sewer lines. The upgraded system alleviated line pressure issues through larger pipes and transmission lines, and uses gravity as a water flow solution.
Goodsoil's residents and those of future subdivisions can once again rely on the benefits of a conventional sewer service, which has helped raise property values and improve their quality of life.
Federal contribution: $450,167
Building Saskatchewan's transportation capacity
Project location: Highway 11 (Central and Northern Saskatchewan)
Highway 11, also known as the Louis Riel Trail, links the province's three largest cities and is the principal north-south arterial road in Saskatchewan. It is a four-lane divided highway from Regina to north of Saskatoon, save a small portion near the Town of Chamberlain, to reflect its traffic volumes and its importance for cargo movement.
Expanding the northern leg of the highway towards Prince Albert became increasingly important to the provincial economy. The route supports the transportation needs of an expanding northern resource and forestry industry and the needs of the region's growing communities. As such, the load and volume capacities of the existing two-lane roadway were no longer sufficient.
Work is under way to twin an additional 75-kilometre section of this important highway from just south of Hague to about 10 kilometres north of MacDowall. A financial contribution from the Major Infrastructure Component of the Building Canada Fund is helping fund the work.
This large-scale highway construction project involves much more than just building a parallel roadbed and doing some paving. Wildlife and cattle protection, proper road drainage, access road culverts and emergency vehicle cross-over points are all being factored into the work. So too are improvements or modifications at all of the intersections along the route to safely accommodate the higher vehicle speeds. The highway improvements mean more timely deliveries, increased cargo capacities, reduced commuting times and smoother driving for potential tourists to the area.
Modernizing and enlarging Highway 11 will have important and long-lasting benefits for the small local communities and businesses along its path, as well as for the Saskatchewan economy at large.
Federal contribution: $62,000,000
Keeping goods moving on rural roads
Project location: Insinger
The Rural Municipality of Insinger is located along Highway 16 in southeast Saskatchewan between Foam Lake and the Manitoba border. It is surrounded by secondary access roads used mainly by agricultural producers.
An eight-kilometre section of a grid road south of the village of Sheho was recently widened and graded. Widening these access roads is important as it allows for safer passing of large and slow moving farm equipment. A smoother surface also means less wear and tear on trucks and other vehicles that travel these routes.
This rural Saskatchewan road improvement was supported in part by a contribution from the Communities Component of the federal Building Canada Fund.
Federal contribution: $226,333
More sustainable solid waste management
Project location: Rural Municipality of Ituna Bon Accord
The creation and maintenance of economical and sustainable solid waste management systems demands ongoing monitoring and attention from municipal officials across the country.
As a community's landfill approaches capacity, alternative sites and solutions must be explored, which can be challenging. Transporting waste further afield means higher costs and a heavier environmental footprint. Rising land prices and increasingly stringent environmental regulations factor into any proposed changes to existing landfill space or the development of new sites.
The Rural Municipality of Ituna Bon Accord and the neighbouring Village of Lestock took action to reduce the volume of solid waste being directed to the local dump. The communities pooled their federal Gas Tax Fund allocations to build a new recycling facility that could provide residents and businesses with additional disposal options.
The new 185-square-metre depot nearly doubles the size of the previous building and can recycle approximately 600,000 containers a year. It accepts plastic, glass and tin cans, like most recycling centres, as well as paint, electronics and appliances, which are dismantled for re-use. The larger, improved work areas allow employees to work faster in a safer environment. Providing more space for clients to sort their own recyclables also helps increase participation rates and operational efficiency.
Residents and businesses in the region support a cleaner, healthier environment by using the new facility. The communities also promote the value of recycling through a video that highlights both the cost reduction and environmental benefits of the project.
Helping rural communities meet safe water standards
Project location: Kerrobert
The federal government places a high priority on safe, clean water for Canadians. Effective water and wastewater infrastructure are vital to this goal but many rural communities struggle to keep their facilities up to federal and provincial standards.
The small rural town of Kerrobert in west central Saskatchewan is no exception. Many upgrades were needed to ensure this community of 1,000 had an adequate supply of fresh water and suitable facilities for the treatment of wastewater.
A project to improve the town's two systems is now complete thanks in part to support from the federal Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. New wells have increased raw water supply to the expanded water treatment plant, while an expanded sewage lagoon has increased wastewater treatment capacity.
The people of Kerrobert now have a safe and reliable water supply that is up to standard and capable of accommodating community growth for years to come.
Federal contribution: $1,071,666
Collaboration leads to key upgrades for regional airport
Project location: Kindersley
Located in west central Saskatchewan, the Town of Kindersley is an established industrial base for this resource-rich area, and a service hub for the agriculture, and oil and gas industries.
Kindersley Regional Airport was opened in the late 1960s. It is a busy airport for charter and courier flights, medical evacuations, aerial spray operations and recreational flying.
Over the years, the asphalt runway surface had deteriorated considerably. Six neighbouring communities that benefit from the airport agreed to cost-share expenses with Kindersley to refurbish the runway and improve airport drainage. The project also received financial support from the Communities Component of the federal Building Canada Fund.
"This grant has allowed us to protect this valuable asset for the West Central Region and ensure ongoing designation as a certified airport," remarked Kindersley Mayor, Wayne Foster.
"Without this important funding, these upgrades would not have been possible."
The project was among the final two selections made by the Saskatchewan Municipal Award Committee in the Regional Leadership and Partnerships category. It also helped ensure that the airport can continue to offer key services in the area for years to come.
Federal contribution: $330,834
Water and sewer systems improvements
Project location: Kinistino
The Town of Kinistino, located in north-central Saskatchewan, is preparing for future growth as a result of its close proximity to the proposed Shore Diamond Mine.
To help support this expansion, more than $290,000 from the Building Canada Fund, Communities Component, was put towards improving the town's water distribution and sewage collection systems. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's Municipal Infrastructure Lending Program also helped make this project possible.
Now that the work is complete, all homes within the town, including those currently under development, are connected to the existing water distribution system, have standard sewage disposal methods, and easy access to high quality drinking water.
Federal contribution: $294,000
Driving as the crow flies
Project location: Lemsford
In rural south-western Saskatchewan, the fastest, safest route between two communities is sometimes not the shortest one.
Such was the case when area drivers wanted to get from Lemsford to Lancer on Highway 32. Even emergency vehicles like ambulances often took long detours to avoid traveling this notoriously bad highway. Parts of the paved road were in such disrepair that in 2006, some segments were reverted back to gravel.
This is no longer the case, with 16 kilometres of new road surface thanks to an investment through the federal Infrastructure Stimulus Fund.
The new concrete and asphalt driving surface has made the road safer and smoother. Its underlying base of earth, sand and graded granular material will also help ensure the longevity of the new road for years to come.
Now vehicles of all kinds can get where they need to go more directly, improving emergency response times and the flow of goods and services throughout the area.
Federal contribution: $4,878,450
Building bridges and communities
Project location: Livingston
The Rural Municipality of Livingston is home to many farmers and other local producers. Good road infrastructure is important for the viability of their industries.
The Swan River Bridge is an integral link in the area's highway system. Until recently, however, it had been in serious disrepair and couldn't accommodate seasonal truck weight limits. Even with repairs done over the years, the structure had reached the end of its lifespan and needed to be replaced.
With a contribution from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, a new bridge is now in place that will help ensure the capacity to sustain the flow of goods and services in the area for many years.
"With the construction of the new bridge," remarked Paul Abrahamson, the former Reeve of Livingston,
"we've developed a [viable] route for our local producers. This is essential to keeping local producers competitive in a tight market."
In addition to being stronger and longer lasting, building the bridge to current standards will help protect streams and rivers against bank erosion, and other negative effects of run-off.
Federal contribution: $416,625
Vital safety and capacity upgrades
Project location: Maidstone
Recognizing the potential impact of a road in poor condition on the safety of motorists and on the economy of the entire region, the Rural Municipality of Eldon was granted $254,833 from the Communities Component of the federal Building Canada Fund to rebuild a stretch of Township Road 490 in Maidstone.
Located at the junction of two major highways in western Saskatchewan, one of them being the main corridor between Saskatoon and Edmonton, the Maidstone area calls itself "the land of canola and purebred cattle in the heart of the heavy crude."
Heavy vehicles serving the oil and gas, agricultural, and oil field service industries frequently used Township Road 490, which had not been built with today's heavy equipment in mind; its load-bearing capacity was becoming compromised.
Workers strengthened the sub-grade to increase load-bearing capacities using more sustainable materials to reduce long-term maintenance.
The improved roadbed increases safety for everyone using Road 490. Product transportation times have been reduced and a vital link for encouraging further mineral resource development in the region has been strengthened.
Federal contribution: $254,833
Federal Gas Tax Fund helps transform floodwaters into irrigation reserves
Project location: Maymont
The annual spring thaw can cause disastrous flooding across the Canadian prairies with potentially devastating results for farms and communities.
In one central Saskatchewan village, an innovative and environmentally sensitive plan was developed to mitigate the frequency and severity of this problem thanks to financial support from the federal Gas Tax Fund.
In the Village of Maymont, inadequate storm water storage caused water to collect along the side of the main road leading to the village after spring run-off and heavy rains. This resulted in chronic flooding of residences and municipal buildings.
With the threat of another spring thaw looming, engineers installed a new drainage pump and piping system to divert the excess water from its natural collection point next to the highway to a new storm water storage dug-out. Any overflow from the dugout is syphoned into the North Saskatchewan River, reducing contaminants and using no additional power.
The system not only prevents flooding, it also creates a source of water for residential irrigation. By using excess run-off instead of more costly, treated drinking water to keep their lawns and gardens green, Maymont residents have a more sustainable way to maintain their yards and gardens.
Within weeks of becoming operational, the new drainage system prevented significant flooding in the Village, leaving residents to enjoy a spring cleaning season that didn't involve wading through flooded basements full of damaged goods.
Building a stronger road network
Project location: Meadow Lake
Many of Saskatchewan's secondary roads network are gravel tracks that don't easily support larger, high weight vehicles. As a result, industrial, agricultural and transport trucks often have to take time-consuming detours to get to where they need to go.
Dorintosh Grid Road near Meadow Lake is one of these secondary roads.
With a contribution from the Communities Component of the federal Building Canada Fund, 14 kilometres of the road have been graded and widened. This has improved sight lines for passing and provided a more stable road base. The smoother surface means vehicles can also travel faster with greater safety.
Upgrades like this make the provincial road and highway network more efficient by allowing drivers to choose the route that best suits them regardless of vehicle type or load.
Federal contribution: $245,071
Improving surface water management capacity
Project location: Meadow Lake
Until a municipal water and sewage system was installed in 1959, residents of the northern prairie community of Meadow Lake had drinking water hand-delivered to their homes for a dime a pail or 55 cents a barrel.
Just as in any other community, the management of the potable water supply, wastewater treatment and surface water drainage is an ongoing concern. While the development of a municipal water and wastewater system made life much easier for Meadow Lake residents, dealing with the sudden surges in volume from storm and spring flood waters remained a challenge.
Past improvements to the treatment plant had not addressed volume surges, so Meadow Lake launched a three-phase project using their annual Gas Tax Fund allocation.
The first two phases, a storm retention pond and new force main, are now complete. The third phase, expected to be completed in 2013, involves building a new pumping station to transfer the storm water from the new storm pond into Backwater Creek.
In the meantime, the community is already better prepared to manage its seasonal flooding risks and stormwater runoff.
Improving the road to market
Project location: Meadow Lake
The Saskatchewan economy depends on bulk commodity export, so keeping freight transportation costs low is critical. But recent shifts from an emphasis on rail to road transportation increased the need for roadways and bridges that could handle heavier loads.
In the Rural Municipality of Meadow Lake, two bridges over tributaries of Morin Creek did not meet standards. According to Raymond Wilfing, Reeve of Meadow Lake,
"the old [timber] bridges were not safe and road access for agricultural vehicles and transport trucks was poor."
A higher road grade, improved access and two pre-cast concrete bridges that meet current safety standards now accommodate heavier transport trucks used to ship goods meant for international trade. The need for detours has been eliminated, thus improving transportation efficiencies.
Beneath the bridges, old culverts and sedimentation have been removed and the banks of the streams stabilized.
The federal Infrastructure Stimulus Fund contributed $133,333 toward the replacement of each bridge.
Federal contribution: $133,333
Stronger communities through reliable utilities
Project location: Melfort
The City of Melfort is a small but growing community in Saskatchewan, surrounded by rich farmland. It is a centre for the region's recreational, entertainment, agricultural and mining activities. With its location near a large diamond exploration site and the frequent appearance of the aurora borealis, it is known locally as both the "Diamond Gateway" and "City of Northern Lights."
In 2008, more than a quarter of the town's water reserves were lost due to waterline breaks. Low water pressure and frequent flooding were regular frustrations.
To stop the leaking, a 25-block section of underground water main had to be replaced, representing a significant expenditure for this small community. Thanks to support from the Communities Component of the federal Building Canada Fund and the federal Gas Tax Fund, this work is now complete.
With the new water main in place, Melfort residents have a reliable water distribution system and the city can focus its attention on other infrastructure needs.
Canada's Gas Tax Fund provides predictable, long-term funding for Canadian municipalities to help them build and revitalize public infrastructure that achieves positive environmental results. Municipalities can pool, bank and borrow against this funding, providing significant financial flexibility.
Federal contribution: $1,591,527 from the Building Canada Fund + Gas Tax funding.
Renewed community vitality
Project location: Melville
Mayor of the City of Melville, Walter Streelasky, called it a "wow" project. Thanks to more than $8 million from the Communities Component of the federal Building Canada Fund and a lot of local fundraising, the City now has a new multiplex.
The new municipal centerpiece features a 1,700-seat stadium, 500-seat convention facility, family fitness centre and walking track. It also houses a cardiac care centre, public meeting space and concession facilities.
Beyond the social, recreational and health benefits of the new multiplex, it will help encourage more people and businesses to make Melville their home. It should also encourage economic development by attracting more visitors to Melville, whether for a hockey game, craft fair or conference.
Chamber of Commerce President, Brian Hicke, saw no downside when asked about the project:
"The Chamber is ecstatic. How can you not be? …Things are going to happen."
Now that the multiplex is built, long-term plans include the addition of an aquatic centre, curling rink, performing arts centre and community centre.
Federal contribution: $8,186,808
Increasing rural road safety
Project location: Miry Creek
New gas field developments around Miry Creek in southwest Saskatchewan have strained many secondary roads and highways.
Routes like Cator Hill Road endured heavy wear and tear from transport trucks and other heavy equipment used by oil and gas companies, as well as farmers. Short sight lines, steep hills and narrow shoulders added to the hazardous road conditions.
With a contribution from the Communities Component of the Building Canada Fund, Cator Hill Road now has a new surface that can withstand heavier loads. The road has also been widened to improve sight lines for safer passing of slow, wide vehicles. Grade reduction, improved drainage and the installation of safety barriers were also part of the project.
Federal contribution: $73,243
Four bridge replacements now in place
Project location: Regional Municipality of Moose Range
Located on the edge of Saskatchewan's northern terrain, the Rural Municipality of Moose Range consists of more than 30 townships and includes a variety of forested, agricultural and wetland landscapes. All of the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund projects in Moose Range are now wrapped up, and providing benefits in the region.
With the agriculture industry driving the region's economy, those relying on the local rural transportation routes appreciate the value of four recent bridge replacements. The old timber bridges needed to be replaced with the new steel culvert style to better accommodate wide farm machinery and safely handle heavier transport vehicles loaded with fall produce.
Through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, the Government of Canada contributed $112,641 to the estimated $338,000 total cost of the projects, with a similar contribution coming from the province.
Federal contribution: $112,641
New bridge, healthier river
Project location: Mount Pleasant
Saskatchewan's Antler River is part of the Lower Souris River watershed that nourishes southeastern Saskatchewan and southwestern Manitoba. A couple of dozen municipalities in this largely agricultural area depend on the watershed for their potable water. As such, protecting the health of the streams in the region is of primary importance.
In the Rural Municipality of Mount Pleasant, a very low bridge across the Antler River was falling apart. That made it unsafe for vehicular and pedestrian traffic, but its low construction also made it a prime barrier for currents in the Antler River. This increased sedimentation and impeded seasonal fish migrations.
Thanks to $158,333 from the federal Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, the Government of Saskatchewan went to work during the winter months when fish migration was not an issue to replace the structure with a higher bridge set further back on the banks of the river.
The sedimentation and fish migration concerns that affected the health of the entire watershed have been resolved. The new bridge can also accommodate heavier loads and large farm equipment safely and efficiently, eliminating detours made necessary by the previous bridge's condition.
The new bridge has an expected lifespan of one hundred years.
Federal contribution: $158,333
Community rallies to fund their new community recreational centre
Project location: North Battleford
Residents of North Battleford, located along the North Saskatchewan River, are enjoying a long-awaited new cultural and recreational centre.
Funding for the project came from many sources, not the least of which was local community groups, who raised an amazing $10 million. With such a show of community support, other funding fell into place. All levels of government contributed $14 million through the Government of Canada's Provincial-Territorial Base Fund. The Province of Saskatchewan delivered $9.3 million through three of its funding programs and the municipality contributed $10 million and used $2.5 million of its annual federal Gas Tax Fund allocation for the project. Other funding contributors made up the difference to round out the funding for the $59 million facility.
The multiplex has four main components; an aquatic centre, a curling centre, a field house and a theatre.
The aquatic centre includes competitive lanes, waterslides, a steam room, hot tub and a wave pool. Next door is the new curling rink. Before the new Northland Power Curling Centre was built, resident curlers had to travel to a neighbouring city to get their brooms on the ice. Now they can enjoy their own rink, complete with 6 sheets, a lounge, cafeteria and spectator seating. The Nationswest Field House is home to two sports fields, a running track and seating for 250 people. The field house can also be used for trade shows. The final piece is the Dekker Centre for the Performing Arts. The city's first performing arts space includes full staging and rehearsal space, a box office and seating for 385 people.
Gas Tax Fund support went towards numerous cost- and energy-saving systems throughout the facility, including high-efficiency boilers, lighting and heating; water-conserving plumbing fixtures; and other energy conserving features.
"The Credit Union CUplex has already become a gathering place for the people of North Battleford," commented North Battleford Mayor, Ian Hamilton.
"With its broad range of healthy programs and culture, the CUplex is not only attracting residents, but also people from surrounding communities."
With no new recreational facilities built in the city since the 1960's, the community is delighted with the new Credit Union CUPlex. Offering something for everyone, it has become a vital municipal and regional hub.
Project location: Poplar Valley
A timber bridge across a stream in the Rural Municipality of Poplar Valley had reached the end of its expected service life. Its limited load capacity also affected the movement of farm machinery in this farming and ranching community in southern Saskatchewan.
Recognizing it was time for change, the Rural Municipality used $33,333 from the federal Infrastructure Stimulus Fund to help replace the older structure with a new culvert bridge.
The new bridge requires less upkeep and monitoring by municipal maintenance personnel and greatly improves the ability of local farmers and ranchers to move their machinery and vehicles in the most direct routing possible thus reducing operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
Federal contribution: $33,333
Better, more efficient water quality control
Project location: Prince Albert
The last major upgrade of the Prince Albert Water Treatment Plant was in 1984. To ensure continued high-quality drinking water for residents and maximize efficient operations, the Town Council approved more than $24 million in plant enhancements. The upgrades will be completed in phases spanning several years.
The installation of an ultraviolet light disinfection system, the first phase of the plant's upgrade, is already complete thanks to financial support from the federal Gas Tax Fund.
Ultraviolet disinfection is considered one of the most cost-effective solutions for eliminating organisms that contaminate drinking water. The system works by exposing bacteria and viruses to high-intensity ultraviolet light, which kills virtually all water-borne organisms and greatly reduces the need to use chlorine and other chemicals.
The 40,000 residents served by the plant are benefiting from a safer, cleaner water supply. In the long run, the updated equipment will also help the City save in operating costs, meaning those resources can be diverted to other priorities.
Global transportation hub
Project location: Regina
Crucial to the economic future of Regina is the development of a Global Transportation Hub and new industrial park west of the city. It will provide existing and future regional industries with access to national and international inter-modal transportation systems and global supply chains.
To help develop the area, the federal government supported a project to build a pumping station and force main collection system to provide the necessary underlying infrastructure services — water, wastewater and drainage.
Thanks to the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund under Canada's Economic Action Plan, the City's new transportation hub and industrial park are closer to reality. These will contribute to Regina's employment and economic growth capacity by attracting new industry and facilitating the efficient transfer of shipping containers between trains and trucks. It will also support train movement throughout the region as well as vehicular traffic flow and safety.
Federal contribution: $3,300,000
Meeting economic growth needs
Project location: Regina
Access to the Ross Industrial Park in Regina is improved thanks to financial support from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. Zoned for heavy mixed industrial use, traffic to the park has soared in recent years. As one of only two main arteries serving the industrial area, Ross Avenue needed to be rebuilt.
Federal funding allowed the city to widen and rehabilitate part of Ross Avenue and add two new lanes and a centre left-turn lane to better accommodate heavy vehicles and high traffic volumes.
Reducing congestion and creating a smooth road surface on Ross Avenue reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves driver safety. It also helps prolong the life of the road and positions the area to attract further economic development.
Federal contribution: $1,100,000
Regina road rehabilitation — 9th and 13th Avenues
Project location: Regina
These recently completed road improvement projects are helping increase the efficiency of the local transportation network system, enhance public safety, and significantly reduce the risk of accidents. Undertaken by the City of Regina, the projects benefited from a total federal contribution of $421,846 under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund. They included the replacementof existing sidewalks, curbs and gutters in various locations, as well as the repair of existing manholes, catch basins and water valves. Some of the existing tarmac was also milled off and replaced with new asphalt.
Federal contribution: $421,846
Safer family travel
Project location: Regina
Dorothy Street, along the western edge of Regina, includes a mix of single-family and multi-unit residential with a sprinkling of recreational areas, churches, a school and neighbourhood commercial facilities. As such, the street is well travelled by families in vehicles, on foot and on bicycles and skateboards.
But Dorothy Street's deteriorating road surface and inadequate drainage had created unsafe conditions for both motorists and pedestrians.
Thanks to $189,186 from the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, the City of Regina's ongoing road rehabilitation program paid Dorothy Street a visit to cold mill the existing asphalt, replace curbs, gutters and sidewalks, rebuild manholes and catch basins and put on a fresh top layer of new asphalt.
The renewed street and sidewalks mean safe, smooth travel surfaces for residents and visitors to Dorothy Street neighbourhoods. And best of all, as Mayor Pat Fiacco likes to point out, the funding helped Regina refurbish the street without worrying about a tax increase.
Federal contribution: $189,186
8th Street Revitalized
Project location: Saskatoon
The City of Saskatoon took advantage of the Economic Action Plan to complete extensive repair and renovation work on an important but aging arterial road.
Using a federal financial contribution made available through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, large sections of 8th Street were rehabilitated, along with the underlying water mains and upgrades to the overpasses and ramps at Idylwyld and Circle Drive. In all, seven projects improved road drainage, traffic flow and public safety along the busy route.
To reduce the environmental impact of the work, save on costs and prevent the old pavement from being dumped into the landfill site, the City recycled the bulk of old roadbed materials.
Saskatoon Mayor, Donald Atchison, remarked that
"this project was very important for two reasons: First, 8th Street is a highly travelled road by motorists, and improving the road is vital to create a smooth ride for our citizens. In addition, 75 percent of all the materials used were recycled concrete and asphalt—which means we kept that material out of the landfill and saved on costs as well."
Saskatoon drivers now enjoy both better road conditions and smoother traffic flow along 8th Street.
Saskatoon also took advantage of the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund to rehabilitate 29 other roadways across the region. With a reduced backlog of outstanding road infrastructure maintenance work, the City has freed up time and money to address other important infrastructure priorities.
Federal contribution: $1,949,234
Curbing a dangerous route
Project location: Saskatoon
On Saskatoon's east side, nestled between the South Saskatchewan River and the residential neighbourhood of Varsity View, lies picturesque University Drive. This tree-lined road is a quieter choice for travellers heading to the parks and main campus of the University of Saskatchewan.
Unfortunately, conditions on University Drive were poor. The single lane road was too narrow to accommodate traffic. This forced vehicles, especially larger service types such as fire trucks, to drive on the curb or median. The curb and drainage system were more than 100 years old and, in some areas, non-existent due to years of asphalt overlays. Driving and plowing conditions in severe weather were a nightmare.
Thanks to support from the federal government's Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, these dangerous driving conditions are now things of the past. In addition to median and curb reconstruction, the road was widened and water drainage improved. Lead water connections, tree wells, splash aprons and paving stones were also all replaced as part of the work. As part of the project, similar improvements were made to 8th Street East, a wider but equally worn boulevard just blocks away from University Drive.
With work completed in October 2010, pedestrians and drivers began to enjoy safer road conditions before winter arrived.
Federal contribution: $388,600
Recovering from the floods – ahead of schedule
Project location: Saskatoon
In the southeast corner of Saskatoon lies the community of Briarwood, a suburban collection of single family dwellings.
Briarwood Road is the main feeder road and transit route for this community, but with severe rutting and asphalt failure, it required constant maintenance.
Subsurface drainage problems were identified as the main cause of the road's problems. The issue became more urgent with the heavy rains and flooding of early 2010.
The City of Saskatoon was supported through the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund to fix this key artery. Fast approval was possible due in part to the streamlined federal environmental assessment process established in 2009.
Despite construction delay challenges caused by the flooding, the project moved forward in a timely manner and finished ahead of schedule.
With work now complete, the drainage problems have been resolved and a long-lasting surface laid down from Blackthorn Crescent to Boychuk Drive.
Federal contribution: $60,000
Cleaning up Vanscoy
Project location: Vanscoy
The small village of Vanscoy, located 27 kilometres south-west of Saskatoon, was in dire need of a new sewage lagoon.
Undersized and too close to residential homes, leakage from the lagoon was contaminating nearby soil and farm land, creating potential health risks. Private landowners and developers were forced to put community building projects on hold, threatening Vanscoy's delicate economy.
Without a quick solution's Ministry of the Environment was preparing to place a protection order on the village that would shut down the faltering waste water system, a disastrous situation for a small community.
Salvation came in the timely construction of a new, two-celled lagoon situated west of the village. Supported by the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, the project included upgrades to the existing sewage pumping station and electrical systems. A new pipeline and force-main from Vanscoy to the lagoon provides an assurance of better environmental protection to the local farmers and has resurrected some of the town's expansion plans.
For the residents of Vanscoy, the future is looking a whole lot brighter.
Federal contribution: $490,666
Paving the way for productive transport
Project location: Wilbert
Near the western border of Saskatchewan at the crossroad of Highways 40 and 21 sits Wilbert's Store. This isolated yet cozy café is the last chance for coffee for many kilometres to come. Wilbert's Store was also the starting point for the reconstruction of a 61-kilometre stretch of Highway 40, ending at the Alberta border.
Highway 40, otherwise known as "Poundmaker Trail" runs parallel to the more frequented Trans-Canada Highway. It connects the City of North Battleford to Edmonton. It is a well-used route for those seeking a more peaceful journey through western Saskatchewan.
After years of heavy traffic and seasonal weather changes, the road's surface was run down and unfit for trucks transporting goods throughout the province. Supported by the Government of Canada's Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, this portion of Highway 40 is repaved. Thanks to the highway's increased weight limits, trucks can now also carry over 40 per cent more freight, generating significant cost savings for Saskatchewan businesses.
These developments have made "Poundmaker Trail" a safer, more productive travel route, even for those just stopping at Wilbert's Store for that last cup of coffee before the long journey west.
Federal contribution: $6,500,000