Sask. program to replace bridges

About 100 rural bridges will be replaced in Saskatchewan municipalities over the next four years.

Funding will come from the Rural Integrated Roads for Growth program, which replaced the Municipal Roads for the Economy Program.

Projects are eligible for a maximum of $500,000 each. The federal government will contribute 17 percent and the province will spend 33 percent, while rural municipalities pay the other half.

Ray Orb, president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, said there are nearly 1,500 bridges built in the 1960s and 1970s that need replacement.

“This funding announcement will go towards addressing the current infrastructure challenge,” he said in a news release.

Some bridge projects are moving through the federal approval process now, and work could begin this season. Another application intake is open and will close July 19. Application information is on the SARM website.

The federal and provincial governments intend to spend $31.5 million on rural bridge improvements over the next four years. This year, the province has allocated $28 million, including $13 million through stimulus funding.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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