As a Saskatoon REALTOR® I am happy to hear that we may be one step closer to getting another bridge across the river but especially one heading to the North End of the city. I read an article in the Star Phoenix that reported that City Council is being asked to spend more than $100,000 on geological services which is the first step in finalizing the route for the proposed bridge on the NE side of the city. The initial money will go towards preliminary geotechnical and environmental investigations that will determine feasibility of the proposed alignment of the project that would connect Marquis Drive in the north end to extensions of Central Avenue and McOrmand Drive on the east side.
There will be a lot of work to be done in 2013 according to councilman Zach Jeffries, who has been a major supporter of the bridge since being elected to council in October. He is hopeful that shovels will be in the ground in 2014. The city estimates the total bridge cost to be $86 million and could be open in 2016. I think that is an aggressive timeline, especially given the big delay of the Circle South bridge in Saskatoon that was meant to be open in 2012 yet it is still a construction zone. They recognize that this is an ambitious timeline but they also know that our city is growing fast so we need to be ambitious.
City council wlll be asked to hire Clifton and Associates, a Saskatoon based engineering company that provides technical solutions to problems involving soil, rock, water and air, to do the preliminary work. They also have has offices in Regina, the Battlefords, Calgary, Edmonton and Lloydminster.
There is $7.6 million budgeted for the bridge in 2013 and the majority of this will be spent on acquiring land in the Marquis Industrial and University Heights areas, where the river crossing will be built. The city estimates that the new bridge will hold up to 30,000 vehicles a day and is absolutely required to address the increasing demands of our growing city as we quickly grow towards half a million people.
As a Saskatoon REALTOR® I know I am excited about another bridge as it will make my job easier. I can also guarantee that the residents of my area, Willowgrove in Saskatoon, as well as the rest of the subdivisions nearby will be happy to see another bridge.
As a REALTOR® in Saskatoon who tries to be as environmentally conscious and aware as possible I am also happy to read that the city and Meewasin Valley Authority have studied the protected area, the northeast swale which is a biodiverse 26 km stretch of protected swampy riverbed that goes along the north part of Silverspring and Evergreen. They had to study the area to find where the least impact would be on the protected area. The crossing they came up with means McOrmand Drive will veer towards the river, looping north for about 4kms before turning west to the river. Central Avenue will be extended to the north to meet McOrmand about 1km from the river crossing and Marquis Drive will be extended to the river and all the way to Idylwyld Drive which means a direct route to the Credit Union Centre and Costco for residents in the Northeast corner. I can’t wait! But I will have to!
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