The Government of Saskatchewan in Canada has announced a stimulus package of C$300m ($212m) for new highway projects aiming to improve the state’s economy, as well as its road safety and capacity.

The package is said to be part of the government’s C$7.5bn ($5.3bn) two-year capital plan to support Saskatchewan’s economic recovery.

Saskatchewan Highways and Infrastructure Minister Greg Ottenbreit said: “Infrastructure investments are important for growth, quality of life, and safe transportation.

“This stimulus package will provide an economic boost creating jobs and building priority infrastructure projects, which will serve the citizens of the province for decades to come.”

The C$300m ($212m) package will be invested over the next two years and will be used for carrying out various infrastructure upgrade works, including thin-membrane surface upgrades, passing lanes and improvements to municipal roads and airports.

The investment will see an upgrade of 325km of thin-membrane surface highways, as well as 24 to 26 new sets of highway passing lanes and the restoration of at least 100 roads in conjunction with the state’s existing municipal roads programme.

In addition, the package will cover improvements to community airports.

Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association president Shantel Lipp said: “Provincial road builders generate more than $5bn in provincial GDP out of an economy of $73bn or roughly 7% of the total provincial economy.

“We employ close to 30,000 workers, making our industry one of the largest employers in the province. We welcome any move toward maintaining and eventually growing these job numbers to get our economy on track.”

Improvement works for more 1,000km of provincial highways will be covered in this year’s fiscal plan, which is said to be the first year of the ten-year Growth Plan to build and upgrade 10,000km of highways.