Saskatoon construction season going ahead despite coronavirus pandemic

Despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, the City of Saskatoon has plans to move ahead with the majority of its construction projects. Slavo Kutas / Global News

Saskatoon city streets, bridges and sidewalks will see more than $61 million of work during construction season even with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The majority of the city’s projects in the capital construction program will go ahead, including more than 4.6 kilometres of new water main installations.

Water main replacements are slated for 8th Street under the eastbound lanes between Sommerfeld and Arlington avenues, along with sections of Clarence Avenue between College Drive and 8th Street.

A new primary water main will be installed beneath Garvie Road to service the Evergreen and Aspen Ridge neighbourhoods.

COVID-19 is not expect to affect the duration of construction projects, according to Terry Schmidt, the city’s transportation and construction general manager.

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“We have just not seen any reduction in productivity,” Schmidt told reporter during a virtual news conference.

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon nurse shows how to properly put on, take off mask'
Saskatoon nurse shows how to properly put on, take off mask

Along with regular pothole patching, line painting and street sweeping, the city has planned 185 lane kilometres of road construction.

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Resurfacing is planned in the following areas:

  • College Drive/Highway 5 westbound from Highway 41 to the CP Rail overpass;
  • Taylor Street from Heritage Crescent to McKercher Drive;
  • Boychuk Drive north bound from Briarwood Road to 8th Street;
  • Central Avenue from College Drive to 107th Street; and
  • Circle Drive from College Drive overpass to 14th Street.
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More projects could be added to the city’s list, as staff expected to receive $32 million to $34 million through the Saskatchewan government’s stimulus package.

“We continue in discussions with the provincial government to find out exactly what the criteria is for the program and the level of funding,” Schmidt said.

The final phase of the Sid Buckwold Bridge rehabilitation project resumed in March and is slated for completion this fall.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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