N.B. infrastructure upgrades among topics of Sask Party Caucus Retreat

From battlefordsNOW
August 8, 2018 - 5:00pm Updated: August 9, 2018 - 10:36am

The new Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford and the Highway 4 North improvements were among some of the projects being discussed at Wednesday's Saskatchewan Party Caucus Retreat near North Battleford. 

David Marit, Minister of Highways and Infrastructure, was among those attending the event at Jackfish Lodge near North Battleford.  

"We get together once a year and we talk about issues with different ministries behind closed doors," he told battlefordsNOW Wednesday. "The entire caucus is here."

Some of the local projects discussed include the upgrades to Highway 4, north of North Battelford, currently taking place.

The project involves creating two sets of passing lanes on the route from North Battleford to Cochin.

"It's really important," Marit said. "It's actually a result of the MLA's in this area meeting with me and talking about the impact of the traffic on (Highway) 4 North coming into North Battleford."

He said this part of the highway is very busy so installing the passing lanes will increase safety.

Marit added the highway is also used to transport lumber from Meadow Lake as well grain shipments coming into N.B. also add to the high level of traffic on this road. 

"There are obviously some significant increasing traffic we've seen over the years - about a 20 per cent increase in traffic," he said. "This really is about safety."

The project is expected to be completed later this fall when the new passing lanes will be up and running.

In the meantime Marit  reminded people to slow down while passing the construction work and be prepared for delays.

"I'm asking everybody to be patient through this construction season," he added. "Once this construction is done, it's going to really improve the flow of traffic." 

The province started planning about a year ago for the Highway 4 improvement project, valued at just over $10 million.

New Saskatchewan Hospital

In giving a short update on the new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford construction, Marit said plans are still to have construction completed later this month so the move-in process can gradually begin.

"The project has been delayed a bit; we're hoping for sometime in August," he said. "I probably will be touring the hospital some time in the future to have a look at it to see where it's at.

"I just want to stress to everybody obviously this is at no cost to the taxpayers of the province," Marit added. 

He said as a P3 (public-private partnership) model build, the owners of the project are covering all the costs of delays.

Marit added after the construction has been completed eventually there will be a transition period as patients and residents will be relocated into the facility prior to its opening. 


Editor's note: This story was amended to correct the spelling of Minister Marit's name


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