New Saskatoon bridges open to traffic in October

Two Saskatoon events on Oct. 2 will celebrate the completion of the Chief Mistawasis Bridge and the new Traffic Bridge. City of Saskatoon / Supplied

The two newest bridges in the city will open to motorists at the beginning of October.

According to City of Saskatoon officials, construction on the Chief Mistawasis Bridge and the new Traffic Bridge will be finished in days.

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“Right now, we’re just finishing up the final components of the project. Work is still ongoing. There are railings and that type of thing being installed on the bridges, there’s some pavement still going on,” said Dan Willems, the city’s acting general manager of corporate performance.

“This year’s been an excellent year for construction because of how dry it’s been. So that plays no small role in allowing contractors to complete (projects).”

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The city will celebrate the completion of its largest infrastructure project ever with two events on Oct. 2.

The celebration at Chief Mistawasis Bridge includes a grand entry at 8:50 a.m. CT with local Indigenous leaders, residential school survivors, and government officials. An opening ceremony is scheduled for 9 a.m., and people can walk around the bridge from 10 a.m. to noon.

Starting around 11:45 a.m., another event will be held on the deck of the new Traffic Bridge. It will begin with people walking from both ends of the structure and meeting in the middle in a celebration of community.

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Willems said they are committed to have the Chief Mistawasis Bridge, including the McOrmond Drive and Central Avenue extensions, fully open to traffic for the Oct. 3 morning commute.

The Traffic Bridge will open to drivers on Oct. 3.

The estimated cost to build the Chief Mistawasis Bridge and replace the Traffic Bridge was $252.6 million. Willems said on Friday the project is on budget.

PPP Canada announced in 2014 the federal government will contribute up to $66 million of the direct construction costs. The Saskatchewan government is contributing $50 million, with the city responsible for the remaining costs.

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Design and construction started in November 2015 with an Oct. 1, 2018, deadline.

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