Regina maintains $70M roadwork budget as construction season starts
Even in tough budget times, Mayor Michael Fougere says roadwork is a priority
Regina's mayor says recent budget cuts aren't affecting road and water system upgrades in the city.
This year, the city is dedicating $70 million to road, water, wastewater and drainage construction projects.
Mayor Michael Fougere said road work is an important priority, so the city didn't pull any funds from its planned construction projects when faced with budget cuts.
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He also made a promise to leave that money alone next year.
"We know that the residents expect and want to see infrastructure renewed. They want their streets fixed and we are going to make sure that we don't touch this portion of our budget next year," Fougere said.
A total of 68 construction projects will go ahead this season in each ward in the city.
Norman Kyle, Regina's director of roadways and transportation, said the maintained funding was good to see after plenty of planning for the season.
"There is a lot of aging infrastructure that requires attention. With all the work we put it, it's good to see that's not wasted and we're able to proceed," Kyle said.
The city already completed some minor construction near the intersection of Saskatchewan Drive and Winnipeg Street in April.
The southbound lanes of Ring Road are currently under construction at the Victoria Avenue overpass. The overpass construction started April 27 and is expected to last five months.
To avoid heavy delays, road closures on Victoria Avenue will only happen after 7 p.m. on weekdays, the city said.
Wascana Parkway over Ring Road will also be undergoing major rehabilitation this season.
"We have a short construction season. We get calls about people who are frustrated at the moment, but I also know they're very happy when they see a nice smooth street that's been fixed and repaired," Fougere said.
City hall will undergo renovations, which will cost $4 million. The renovation plans were approved prior to the March provincial budget, which resulted in a $10.3-million funding shortfall.
As part of that shortfall, cuts and reductions were made — including a $300,000 reduction to the city's asphalt maintenance budget.