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North Commuter Bridge Project Update

by Shanine Sealey

Work on Saskatoon’s Bridging to Tomorrow Project, which consists of the new Traffic Bridge, as well as the North Commuter Bridge and is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Saskatoon’s history, is moving along steadily. The project began in December of 2015 and is on track for completion by October of 2018.

The North Commuter Parkway project will be a connection between the Marquis Industrial area and the University Heights area, extending Marquis Drive across the South Saskatchewan River and connecting to McOrmond Drive. Once complete, it is expected that the new bridge will reduce traffic on existing bridges, especially the Circle Drive North Bridge. The City of Saskatoon expects that traffic volume on opening day is expected to range from 14,600 to 21,700 vehicles per day, with that number increases as populations in the area rise.

As of October, the project reached a major milestone, with the last concrete pier being completed and the remaining steel bridge girders installed. The bridge is now connected from one bank of the river to the other. Throughout the upcoming three months, crews will be continuing work on the bridge deck, and will be installing utility conduits and piping beneath the bridge. Once complete, the bridge will include a 2 meter wide bikeway on the north side and a 3.5 meter multi-use path on the south side, with both at the same elevation as the driving surface.

Work on the surrounding roadways has been underway, with the southbound driving lanes on Central Avenue now paved, with new cyclist pathways and pedestrian sidewalks installed and the rehabilitation of the northbound lanes beginning soon. Upgrades to the Marquis Drive and Wanuskewin Road intersection are nearing completion and will have new traffic signals and pathways once completed.

The official name of the bridge has not been determined at this point, as the City of Saskatoon gave area residents the opportunity to submit suggestions that acknowledge an Aboriginal historical event or figure, or a word/concept that embodies the spirit of community, coming together, or connection. Submissions were collected between July and October.

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