It has been a bit of a disappointing week so far for construction news in Saskatoon. The first news concerns the Circle Drive project and completion. The $300M south bridge project was supposed to be open at the end of this month, one month behind the original date, but now it is unclear if it will open at all this year. As a real estate agent in Saskatoon this is a bit disconcerting but I, like many others, am somewhat used to construction delays when I am out working.
At a time when politics are ramping up this is a big area to pick on the current mayor’s office. Weather has been cited as being one of the major issues. This does not stop mayoral candidate Tom Wolf from attacking Don Atchison’s ability to manage major projects. But really? Is it his fault? With record rainfalls in 2010 and 2012 it is hard to put all the blame on one guy. Keep in mind that Graham-Flatiron, the joint venture in charge of the project, will face fines of $10,000 per day that they are delayed. As a REALTOR (r) in Saskatoon I drive by here all the time and I have to admit-there are days I am amazed people are out working and there are other days that I wonder where all the roadworkers are? But what do I know?
The second project affected is the 25th Street extension. It is confirmed, by an article in the Star Phoenix, that it will not open this year. I have to say I am pretty excited to see this one open up. This is a $17M project that will connect 25th St East to Idylwyld Drive. The delays mostly have to do with a shortage in skilled labour and, due to the work required from CP Rail and CN Rail, these just won’t be started until next spring. This new intersection will include a warning system that CP Rail needs to install as well as the removal of an interchange by CN Rail.
One of the changes we will see, when the new intersection is opened, is that there will no longer be a left turn from Idylwyld to 24th St. Instead there will be a U-turn lane farther up Idylwyld. Once the intersection is completed the City of Saskatoon will also be spending $3.7M to beautify the entrance-calling it the new “gateway” to downtown. Landscaping, lighting, trees, benches and public art along the street will be added.
As a Saskatoon real estate agent I will look forward to these projects being completed as it will make my job and life a lot easier, especially considering the amount of time I spend driving the city each day to show houses for sale in Saskatoon or meet with clients. But, as always, construction will be inevitable each year as our city continues to grow. So, if it isn’t these projects it will be others.
If you are considering buying a house for sale in Saskatoon and area or if you are looking to sell your property in Saskatoon please consider me, your TRUSTED Saskatoon REALTOR (r).
Saskatoon Real Estate Agent
Century 21 Fusion