Work has been progressing around the clock on the $60.6 million Warman and Martensville Interchange projects since the warm weather hit. Throughout the month of May, Peter Kiewit Sons ULC, the contractors in charge of the projects, completed the bridge deck on the Martensville overpass and work continued on the bridge structure for Warman. Both locations saw earthwork and road aggregates placement in May, as well as lighting installation. “They have been working extended hours and we have given them permission to work 24 hours on that project to get it done as quickly as possible. We do understand that weather can be an issue, so when they are able to work, we want them to be able to get as much done within that timeframe as they can,” Matt Gruza, the City of Martensville Engineer Assistant, explained.
For June, work on the Warman project planned consists of; roadway embankment and grading, continued placement of road aggregates, asphalt paving, completing the bridge deck barrier pours, slope paving under the bridge structure, site lighting installation and work on advanced warning flashing light at the south end of Warman.
The Martensville location will see many changes occur in June, as plans to open the 4th Street South access is scheduled to take place. Additionally, the contractors will continue to work on roadway embankment and grading, focusing on the mainline and northbound on-ramp. Work will take place throughout the night to haul materials to site for road aggregates. Asphalt paving will begin, with a focus on the new 4th Street access and a new traffic signal will be installed for this location. Additionally, a culvert will be installed along the highway mainline and the bridge deck barriers will be poured.
Traffic restrictions and speed restrictions are in place at both locations with Warman seeing a detour set in place for Range Road 3045 and Range Road 3044 as of May 12, which will continue until the project is completed. For Martensville, the detour for Range Road 384 is still in effect, and as of June 14th, northbound access to Main Street will be closed and replaced with the 4th Street South access for light vehicles and a detour to Highway 305 for large vehicles.
With completion originally being planned for 2019, work has been proceeding at a rapid pace and with several traffic restrictions scheduled, completion is now slated for late this year. Kiewit proposed a plan to the City of Martensville in 2017 that would help them accelerate the completion of the Highway 12 overpass. This plan consisted of a closure of the Main Street access off of Highway 12 and at the June 30, 2017 City Council meeting, this proposal was given the go ahead. “We will lose the intersection for 30 days, but we will gain a year in return. It is a short term inconvenience for a long term gain,” Gruza said.
The Main Street closure is expected to last for approximately 30 days and when discussing the plan, Council suggested that the closure should occur during summer months, when traffic is lighter. Although inconvenient, Mayor Kent Muench notes that it will be worth it to have the overpass completed months ahead of the original planned date. “There will still be access points to the City, motorists will just have to take a different route. For people that don’t use that entry or exit point, they won’t even notice the closure,” Muench stated.
The completion of the Highway 12 overpass will provide new opportunities for the City of Martensville. “This project provides development opportunities to the west of the highway. All of those 800 acres of land will be included in the West Sector Plan recently announced by the City of Martensville. This will include a mixture of housing, commercial development and more. Without that overpass, that likely wouldn’t have happened as it would have put too much pressure on that intersection and increase the unsafe nature that it was,” Muench explained. With plans to build neighborhoods similar to that of Stonebridge or Evergreen in Saskatoon, the West Sector Plan will be a privately run development. “This shows great promise and strength to Martensville and the economic liability of the community that companies are willing to invest substantial dollars to do that kind of planning,” added Muench. With Martensville being constrained to the South, industrial being located north and limited ability to grow east due to Opimihaw Creek; the development plans for the land west of Highway 12 is crucial to the future growth of the community.
For more information on the Warman and Martensville Interchanges, visit www.wminterchanges.ca.