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Saskatoon’s University Bridge reopens to traffic 4 weeks early

Saskatoon's University Bridge has reopened to regular traffic after rehabilitation work was completed four week early. Eric Beck / Global News

SASKATOON – The University Bridge has reopened to traffic. The City of Saskatoon announced Monday it planned to reopen the bridge to regular traffic following the morning commute Tuesday.

It reopened a couple of hours earlier than expected.

“We are extremely pleased to have traffic moving on the University Bridge sooner than expected,” said Rob Frank, the city’s manager of asset preservation.

“The near perfect weather and the fact that we encountered no major issues allowed us to accelerate our schedule and move ahead of where we expected to be at this point in the project.”

READ MORE: Caught red-handed, drivers unlawfully cross University Bridge

The reopening of the bridge means Saskatoon Transit buses are now running on their normal routes and the #200 shuttle bus that ran between the University of Saskatchewan and the downtown terminal has been suspended.

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More work will be undertaken on the bridge over the next few weeks which will require some lane restrictions during off-peak hours.

Officials say another full closure of the bridge for rehabilitation of the concrete deck won’t be needed for approximately 25 years, but there may still be work to be done.

A substructure rehabilitation of the arches and piers may be required in 2021. City officials said they are working with the University of Saskatchewan, Ch2m Hill Inc. and the Saskatchewan centre of excellence for transportation and infrastructure to confirm timing and the type of repairs needed.

University Bridge was closed to vehicles on May 3 in order to undertake a complete deck replacement. A single lane remained open to emergency vehicles, transit, authorized Saskatoon Health Region vehicles and Saskatoon school board buses.

Originally, city officials said the rehabilitation project would take until Aug. 30.

The next project for the city’s bridge strategy is the Ruth Street overpass in 2016.

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