Saskatchewan - Transportation

Transportation

Transportation in Saskatchewan includes an infrastructure system of roads, highways, freeways, airports, ferries, pipelines, trails, waterways and railway systems serving a population of approximately 1,003,299 (according to 2007 estimates) inhabitants year-round. It is funded primarily with local and federal government funds. The Saskatchewan Department of Highways and Transportation estimates that 80% of traffic is carried on the 5,031-kilometre principal system of highways.

The Saskatchewan Highways and Transportation operates over 26,000 kilometres (16,000 mi) of highways and divided highways. There are also municipal roads which comprise different surfaces. Asphalt concrete pavements comprise almost 9,000 kilometres (5,600 mi), granular pavement almost 5,000 kilometres (3,100 mi), non structural or thin membrane surface TMS are close to 7,000 kilometres (4,300 mi) and finally gravel highways make up over 5,600 kilometres (3,500 mi) through the province. In the northern sector, ice roads which can only be navigated in the winter months comprise another approximately 150 kilometres (93 mi) of travel.

Saskatchewan has over 250,000 kilometres (150,000 mi) of roads and highways, the highest amount of road surface of any Canadian province. The major highways in Saskatchewan are the Trans Canada expressway, Yellowhead Highway northern Trans Canada route, Louis Riel Trail, CanAm Highway, Red Coat Trail, Northern Woods and Water route, and Saskota travel route.

The first Canadian transcontinental railway was constructed by the Canadian Pacific Railway between 1881 and 1885. After the great east-west transcontinental railway was built, north-south connector branch lines were established. The 1920s saw the largest rise in rail line track as the CPR and CNR fell into competition to provide rail service within ten kilometres. In the 1960s there were applications for abandonment of branch lines. Today the only two passenger rail services in the province are The Canadian and Winnipeg – Churchill train, both operated by Via Rail. The Canadian is a transcontinental service linking Toronto with Vancouver.

The main Saskatchewan waterways are the North Saskatchewan River or South Saskatchewan River routes. In total, there are 3,050 bridges maintained by the Department of Highways in Saskatchewan. There are currently twelve ferry services operating in the province, all under the jurisdiction of the Department of Highways.

Ferries of Saskatchewan
Ferry Location Waterway Reference
Estuary connecting Estuary and Laporte South Saskatchewan River
Lemsford North of Lemsford connecting 32 and 30 South Saskatchewan River
Lancer North of Lancer connecting 32 and 30 South Saskatchewan River
Riverhurst Highway 42 and Highway 373 Lake Diefenbaker
Clarkboro Between Warman and Aberdeen on 784 South Saskatchewan River
Hague Between Hague and Aberdeen South Saskatchewan River
St. Laurent East of Duck Lake, 11 and Batoche 225 South Saskatchewan River
Fenton Between 25 and 3 on Grid Road South Saskatchewan River
Weldon Between 3, Weldon via 682 and 302, Prince Albert South Saskatchewan River
Paynton Between 16 and 26 via 764 North Saskatchewan River
Wingard East of Marcelin, 40 connecting to 11 Wingard North Saskatchewan River
Cecil Between 302 and 55 east of Prince Albert North Saskatchewan River

The Saskatoon Airport (YXE) was initially established as part of the Royal Canadian Air Force training program during World War II. It was renamed the John G. Diefenbaker Airport in the official ceremony, June 23, 1993. Roland J. Groome Airfield is the official designation for the Regina International Airport (YQR) as of August 3, 2005; the airport was established in 1930. Under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP), twenty Service Flying Training Schools (RAF) were established at various Saskatchewan locations in World War II. 15 Wing Moose Jaw is home to the Canadian Forces formation aerobatics team, the Snowbirds.

Airlines offering service to Saskatchewan are Air Canada, WestJet Airlines, Transwest Air, Norcanair Airlines, La Ronge Aviation Services Ltd, La Loche Airways, Osprey Wings Ltd, Buffalo Narrows Airways Ltd, Skyservice Airlines, Île-à-la-Crosse Airways Ltd, Voyage Air, Pronto Airways, Venture Air Ltd, Pelican Narrows Air Service, Jackson Air Services Ltd, and Northern Dene Airways Ltd.

The Government of Canada has agreed to contribute $20 million for two new interchanges in Saskatoon. One of them being at the Sk Hwy 219 / Lorne Ave intersection with Circle Drive, the other at the Senator Sid Buckwold Bridge (Idylwyld Freeway) and Circle Drive. This is part of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative to improve access to the Canadian National Railway's intermodal freight terminal thereby increasing Asia-Pacific trade. Also, the Government of Canada will contribute $27 million to Regina to construct a Canadian Pacific Railway CPR intermodal facility and improve infrastructure transportation to the facility from both national highway networks, Sk Hwy 1, the TransCanada Highway and Sk Hwy 11, Louis Riel Trail. This also is part of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative to improve access to the CPR terminal and increase Asia-Pacific trade.

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