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Regina Bypass Project

The Regina Bypass is the largest infrastructure project in the province’s history. Below is a series of four, 3-D flyover videos of the project's conceptual design.


1. How was the route selected?

The need for a bypass was identified in the 1990s. Since then, six major studies and 38 supplemental studies have been undertaken. These studies concluded the selected route is optimal now and into the future.

Public and stakeholder consultation was a priority throughout the study process.

The route selected was finalized after receiving approval from the City of Regina, Balgonie, White City, Pilot Butte, Emerald Park, Edenwold and the Rural Municipalities of Sherwood and Edenwold.


2. When does the project start?

  • Work on the project has already started.
  • Overpasses at White City and Balgonie will open by 2017.
  • The entire project will be completed by 2019.
  • The Bypass will be completed six years sooner than if we attempted this without a P3. Unlike other projects, the builders face significant financial penalties if they run late and taxpayers are protected from cost overruns.

 Regina Bypass Timeline


3. Why is the Bypass being built?

  • The Regina Bypass will improve a key component of the National Highway System.
  • It'll reduce traffic congestion in and around Regina.
  • It'll increase efficiency for truckers and shippers moving goods, as Saskatchewan is a land-locked province with an export-based economy.
  • Most importantly, it'll improve motorists' safety, including Trans-Canada Highway 1 east of Regina.

The Regina Bypass 


4. What does the Bypass project include?

The project includes overpasses at the Pilot Butte Access Road, Highway 48 at White City and Highway 46 at Balgonie to address critical safety concerns.

In total, the project consists of approximately:

  • 12 overpasses;
  • 40 kilometres of new four-lane highway;
  • 20 kilometres of resurfaced four-lane highway;
  • 55 kilometres of new service roads; and
  • Twinning of about five kilometres of Highway 6.
Regina Breakdown Bypass Breakdown

5. Project Team

  • Regina Bypass Design Builders awarded the contract to a team comprised of:
    • Graham Construction
    • GraCorp Capital
    • Parsons
    • Carmacks
    • VINCI
    • McElhanney
    • Urban System
    • Buckland and Taylor
    • Exp
    • Clifton Assoc.
    • Delcan
    • National Bank
  • 8,200 jobs will be created in Saskatchewan.

6. Public-Private Partnership (P3)

  • The Regina Bypass will be built as (Public-Private Partnership (P3).
  • With a P3, the team that builds the Bypass must maintain it in “like new” condition for 30 years.  This encourages the use of high-quality materials and long-term thinking in design to reduce costs into the future.
  • Unlike many government projects throughout history, P3s finish on-time and on-budget.
  • A P3 model will have the project completed at least six years faster than a traditional build.

Operations and maintenance

In addition to construction cost the builder is also responsible for operation, maintenance, transfer of risk.
Operations and maintenance includes but is not limited to:  

  • Repaving Highway 1 east of Regina to Balgonie;
  • Surface repair;
  • Pavement marking;
  • Repairing and replacing signs;
  • Bridge/culvert repair;
  • Ditch mowing, snow clearing, weed control, garbage pickup;
  • Drainage control;
  • Corridor lighting and power costs;
  • Acquisition of maintenance equipment, facility and staff.
  • The government will receive all infrastructure in “like-new” condition at the conclusion of the contract.

Transfer of Risk: Taxpayers are protects from any project cost overruns. These costs will be incurred by the builder.


7. Project Cost

Why did the scope and cost of the Regina Bypass project change?

The first concept of the Regina Bypass in 2013 was for the south section (seen below) to divert truck traffic off Victoria Avenue East. The cost estimate was roughly $400 million.

There were two other projects also being considered around Regina. Overpasses east of Regina (see below) to provide greater safety to the growing communities in that area. The cost of this project was roughly $400 million.

Another project was in the works to the west of the city (see below) to divert traffic off Dewdney Avenue. The cost of this project was roughly $400 million.

A decision was made to combine these individual components into one project: the Regina Bypass. 

So, the original $400 million estimate now increased to $1.2 billion as the project scope increased. 

Infographic: Regina Bypass Project by Section

Another number often cited is $1.88 billion* for the Regina Bypass. That number is the total cost of the project. It includes not only construction, but also the transfer of risk to the private contractor, 34 years of regular maintenance, reconstruction, snow removal. At the end of the 34 years, the road will be handed over to the province in “like-new” condition.

Professional cost estimators calculated the cost of building and maintaining the Bypass was $2.2 billion.  The $1.88 billion* Graham-team P3 bid was less expensive so it was accepted.

Ernst & Young verified the P3 method will save Saskatchewan people $380 million.

This Bypass is expected to create over 8,200 local construction jobs.

The lead builder on the Bypass is Graham construction, founded in Moose Jaw in 1926.  It is being designed by four companies out of Regina and Saskatoon.

Saskatchewan business groups have endorsed P3s as a way to improve infrastructure and create jobs.  This includes:

  • The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce
  • The Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce
  • The Regina Chamber of Commerce
  • The Swift Current Chamber of Commerce
  • The North Saskatoon Business Association
  • more…

The Government’s total investment of $1.88 billion* includes the full cost of the Bypass over the next 30 years and construction.

The previous estimates were based only on the construction-related costs. The cost of construction alone is in line with the $1.2 billion estimate.

*Note: land acquisition is separate from this cost and is projected at roughly $100 million.

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