Some small towns in Saskatchewan might not be able to have pit parties as their rural municipalities struggle with a gravel shortage.
Some areas are driving as far as 80 kilometres to truck gravel in, according to SARM president Ray Orb.
“Some rural municipalities don’t have any supplies right now. They are trucking it from other places,” Orb said.
The problem has led SARM’s infrastructure committee to flag the issue. They are currently commissioning a report to find out where the province’s gravel supply is, quality of gravel, future demand and potential alternative options.
“We’re pretty excited about it,” Orb said of the report. He hopes to have some recommendations back by late fall or early winter.
“I think there are adequate supplies throughout the province. It’s just that it is possibly more for the future that we are looking at now to be able to secure some of those supplies. Maybe looking at better ways to explore and allocate those supplies.”
Sean Wilson, past chairman of the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association and general manager of G.W. Construction Ltd. believes there is a shortage of good material that is easy to access.
“I think right now, the panic is, especially around the city where there has been so much material pulled out, I think everyone is sort of hitting the panic button that they are running out of good material,” he said on Gormley.
Wilson said anyone who has bad farmland normally has good gravel. He explained that the rocks, whether they are river rocks or cobblestone, are run through a gravel crusher before they are laid on the roads.
Both Wilson and Orb agree that the biggest issue is the increased cost of transportation associated with gravel.
“The trucking costs are quite expensive. It’s an added cost,” Orb explained.
Orb said whoever does the report, which currently has a Request for Proposal out, will have to consult with the province before putting out recommendations.
Follow on Twitter: @karinyeske