Politicians yesterday hailed the on-time and on-budget opening of a C$1.9bn bypass around Regina, capital of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, intended to cut road deaths and stop heavy trucks clogging downtown.
Funded and operated by a consortium led by France’s Vinci Concessions, the scheme is billed as Saskatchewan’s biggest ever transport infrastructure project and its first transport public-private partnership.
Contractors built or upgraded 61km of road, along with 12 interchanges and 33 viaducts, logging five million hours since July 2015 with just one lost-time incident, said the provincial highways ministry.
Vinci Concessions and Eurovia subsidiary Carmacks will now operate and maintain the bypass for 30 years, Vinci said.Â
The concession company Regina Bypass Partners comprises Vinci Concessions (37.5%), US engineering firm Parsons Enterprises (25%), Canada’s Graham Construction (12.5%) and investment fund Connor Clark & Lunn (25%).
The provincial government estimated that reduced collision rates would result in savings of up to C$3m.
Emergency services said safety improvements were evident after the first section of the bypass opened in 2017.
"Before the bypass I was on a first name basis with the coroner’s office," White City Fire Department Chief Randy Schulz said. "Since the first phase of the Bypass opened, we haven’t used our Jaws of Life."
Image: The scheme is billed as Saskatchewan’s biggest ever transport infrastructure project (Regina Bypass Partners)