A memorable day on Treaty 6 territory, as the city celebrated the completion of its largest ever infrastructure project.
The Chief Mistawasis Bridge is an extension of Central Avenue and McOrmond Drive, connecting traffic in the north end of Saskatoon.
The name was born out of the spirit of reconciliation. Indigenous leaders and city officials acknowledged the celebration is about more than just a bridge.
“To recognize the historic treaty relationship that’s recognized with Chief Mistawasis and have that now be sort of cemented in the story of our community,” Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark said.
The city said within its first year of operation, an estimated 20,000 vehicles will use the artery every day.
“We are going to be able to connect thousands of people on the east side of the city to thousands of jobs on the north end of the city,” Clark said. “To create a strong foundation for future growth.”
In Saskatoon’s downtown, hundreds of people lined the new Traffic Bridge, eager to be part of reconnecting a historic link.
“My great-grandparents were apparently here back in 1907 when the bridge opened,” said Brent Penner, executive director for Downtown Saskatoon. “It’s neat to be here in 2018 – 111 years later.”
City officials said the new Traffic Bridge can also accommodate around 20,000 vehicles per day, but estimate volumes to approach 11,000 vehicles per day.
During Tuesday’s celebrations, Clark said the Traffic Bridge will be the people’s bridge.
“Right in the middle of our community where we’ll be able to have festivals and celebrations; a great crossing for pedestrians and cyclists as well as people to get to and from work in the downtown.”
The price tag for the project is pegged at $252.6 million. The city said it came in on time and on budget.