SASKATOON, SASK. - The first of 58 girders for the North Commuter Parkway (NCP) Bridge arrived in Saskatoon last week.
"We're excited to see this phase of the project begin," says Dan Willems, director of major projects. "People have been waiting for this for many years and it's finally taking shape."
As the Bridging to Tomorrow project has entered its second year; two of three piers on the North Commuter Parkway are now complete and work on the first bridge span (Span 2) will be underway as girders continue to arrive in the following weeks.
Each span is constructed of 58.5 girders and each girder measures 3 metres tall by 1 metre wide and 33.5 metres long; they weigh 52,182 Kg. With the arrival, the construction of Span 2 has begun.
The Bridging to Tomorrow project also includes the construction of the new Traffic Bridge downtown. Willems says significant progress has been made on both bridges over the past year. At the Traffic Bridge site, the final components of the original bridge were demolished and the final two piers (Pier 1 and Pier 2) were completed in December.
"With completion of the final two piers at the Traffic Bridge our contractor, Graham Commuter Partners, can start building the new spans," Willems said. "The in-river berm has been modified to create an island in the middle of the river, with a temporary steel bridge connecting to the north bank, to allow construction of the two centre spans."
Construction of the new south span (Span 4) at the Traffic Bridge was completed last fall. Construction of the two centre spans (Span 2 and Span 3) will start next week, and scheduled to be complete by mid-April. The final span will be constructed this spring. Construction of the bridge deck will follow.
"When it's finished, the new Traffic Bridge will support the growing city centre by allowing drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to cross the South Saskatchewan River," Willems said. "It'll resemble the original bridge, but will be wider to accommodate larger vehicles like fire trucks and buses."
The North Commuter Parkway will support the transportation needs of citizens who live in Saskatoon's northeast but work in the Marquis and North Industrial Areas. Construction of new roads to connect Marquis Drive to Central Avenue and McOrmond Drive will continue next spring.
Bridging to Tomorrow project updates, including detailed monthly summaries, links to live cameras at each bridge site, and quarterly video updates, are available at saskatoon.ca/bridging.
In person, anyone can watch Traffic Bridge progress at the River Landing viewing area.
North Commuter Parkway construction can be viewed from the Meewasin Trail just east of the cul-de-sac at the north end of Kinnear Avenue (north of Silverwood Golf Course).