for Growth Program
Learn more about this infrastructure
By Terry E. Hoeving, CDA, Alexander Udey, M.Sc., P.Eng. and Daniel Segal, P.Eng., Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities
The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities
(SARM) and the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure
(MHI) are pleased to introduce the Rural Integrated Roads
for Growth (RIRG) program.
The RIRG is a 50-50 cost-share road, bridge and large culvert infrastructure
funding program that replaces the Municipal Roads for the Economy
(MREP) funding program.
Changes from the MREP to the RIRG include:
• The Clearing the Path (CTP) primary weight corridors and Heavy Haul
High Volume roads (HHHV) are now rolled into one road program.
• Eligible projects must be a Rural Road Classification (RRC) 1 to 5 for
Bridges and HHHV projects, and RRC 1 to 7 for CTP projects.
• To spread the RIRG funding and impact more rural municipalities
• Funding cap is now $500,000 per RM per project per year for roads
• Base and sub-base will be an eligible expense; the pavement is an
• Bridge maintenance will not be eligible. The funds will be directed to
capital projects; bridge inspections will continue to be conducted in a
• The RIRG will allow projects to be completed over a two-year
timeframe. This will allow for stockpiling materials, ensuring permit
conditions are met and utility moves are in place and addressing
contractor capacity and weather delays
• The Traffic Count rotation will be conducted on a three-year cycle
rather than the five-year cycle
Recently, the provincial government announced that they will invest $28
million to the RIRG program for rural roads. This funding will see 36 RMs
eligible for funding this year with a total target of 100 rural road projects
over the duration of the three-year funding plan.
The RIRG will also provide grants to improve RM bridges. Details are
being finalized with an announcement expected in the near future.
The 2020–21 construction years will be very different than in the past
due to added COVID-19 precautions and the inclusion of the requirement
of community benefits on all road projects. To ensure everyone is safe
when working on RIRG projects, we encourage industry to follow MHI’s
2020 Construction Season Guidelines for MHI workers and contractors.
MHI provided a safety guidance document and it is an excellent tool for
working during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please
Detailed requirements of the community benefits are being finalized
by MHI. The community benefits will be a tender requirement as increased
stimulus funding is to build the rural infrastructure and ensure
Saskatchewan residents are going back to work.
We look forward to a safe, long, sunny construction season and
working with all of our partners, including the Saskatchewan Heavy
ANNA GRIGORJEVA / 123RF
34 Think BIG | Quarter 3 2020 | saskheavy.ca