Saskatchewan

Cost of Regina bypass now pegged at $1.88B

The Regina bypass, billed as the city's biggest-ever construction project, will cost $1.88 billion, the province now says.

Previous $1.2B estimate included construction costs only, province says

The $1.88-billion bypass project is designed to let trucks travelling along the Trans-Canada and Highway 11 avoid having to drive through the city. (Saskatchewan government)

The Regina bypass, billed as the city's biggest-ever construction project, will cost $1.88 billion, the province now says.

That's up from a previous estimate that pegged costs at $1.2 billion.

While the old estimate included construction costs alone, the higher number also factors in costs due to design, finance, operations and maintenance over 30 years, provincial officials say, in explaining the difference.

The project is a public-private partnership, also known as a P3, in which a contractor assumes financial risks in exchange for guaranteed payments.

Gordon Wyant, the minister responsible for the province's SaskBuilds program, which deals with P3 programs, said the project is still on target for fall 2019 completion.

The government maintains the P3 process will save taxpayers $380 million when compared with the regular way of financing and operating such a project.

About 8,200 construction-related jobs will be created over the life of the project, which includes 12 overpasses and about 40 kilometres of new four-lane highway.

The bypass will allow cars and trucks on major highways get past Regina without having to enter the city.

It's designed to reduce congestion and improve safety.

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