June 9, 2014 1:18 pm

Bridge projects get funding from feds, province

The federal and provincial governments announce millions in funding to build the North Commuter Parkway Bridge and Traffic Bridge in Saskatoon.

File / Global News

SASKATOON – The city of bridges will soon have another span after the federal and provincial governments announced millions in funding for the North Commuter Parkway Bridge project.

Premier Brad Wall announced on Monday the province will invest $50 million to the north commuter bridge as part of a tripartite deal with the City of Saskatoon and the federal government.

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“Saskatoon is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada and the North Commuter Parkway Bridge will help sustain that growth by connecting residential neighbourhoods to the expanding industrial area in the city’s north end,” said Wall in a release announcing the funding.

The provincial government promised in the 2014-15 budget it would support the north bridge project only if the federal government pitched in with money.

The feds announced a contribution of up to $66 million through the P3 Canada Fund for the project for both bridge projects.

Saskatoon city council approved using a public-private partnership (P3) after a report from KPMG said using that approach could save the city just over $26 million over 30 years.

When complete, the bridge that would link the Marquis Downs industrial area with University Heights is expected to ease congestion on the Circle Drive North Bridge, where an estimated 80,000 vehicles travel over it each day.

The money from the federal government will also go towards replacing the 107-year-old Traffic Bridge in downtown Saskatoon which has been closed to traffic since August 2010 after inspectors found it at risk of collapsing under its own weight.

Construction of the new north bridge and associated road work should take about two years to complete.

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