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Sask. designates primary weight road system

In a bid to boost rural community development, Saskatchewan has mapped out what it describes as a “more efficient, integrated” network of municipal roads that are — or will be — maintained to handle primary-level vehicle weights.

The “Clearing the Path” (CTP) primary weight corridor network, developed by the province, the CTP transportation committee, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) and the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) designates over 4,500 km of municipal roads with an eye toward increasing primary weight access throughout the province.

The CTP program, developed in 2004, will get $5 million through the 2007-08 provincial budget and $10 million in 2008-09 for signage and maintenance of “phase one” roads — that is, roads already up to a primary weight standard — while identifying “phase two” roads for future upgrading, to provide primary weight access to communities where little or no such access exists. The program also commits the province to provide upgrading and maintenance costs for CTP roads that require it.

“Phase two” roads are those that can’t be in the CTP network right away due to structural shortcomings or connections involving secondary-weight roads.

A number of rural roads in the province are blocked from carrying primary weights during a three-month period in the spring, structurally unable to support major industrial or agricultural development such as manufacturing plants, high-throughput grain terminals or intensive livestock operations.

The signage in the budget is expected to help highway truckers identify designated CTP corridors.

The CTP committee has posted a collection of CTP corridor maps, outlining roads to be included in the network, as well as nearby manufacturing plants, livestock operations and grain elevators.

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