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Saskatoon bridge tender awarded to Horseshoe Hill Construction

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by JOC Digital Media last update:Feb 25, 2015

The City of Saskatoon has awarded the tender for rehabilitation of Saskatoon's iconic University Bridge to Horseshoe Hill Construction Inc.
Saskatoon bridge tender awarded to Horseshoe Hill Construction
Photo: Derek Neary

City Council approved the recommendation at its meeting of on Monday, February 23.

An independent engineering assessment of the bridge in 2013 identified the deck is structurally insufficient and the concrete is susceptible to rapid failure and loss of strength due to freeze-thaw action. The assessment concluded that immediate repairs are required.

"We're looking forward to working with Horseshoe Hill Construction Inc. on this important project that will ensure this 100 year old bridge continues to serve commuters for many years to come," says Mike Gutek, director of major projects. "This is an important step that allows us to now work out some of the finer details of this project."

The project will see the bridge closed to the general public from May 1, 2015 to August 30, 2015. A single lane of traffic will remain open for emergency vehicles, Saskatoon Transit buses, Saskatoon Health Region authorized vehicles and school buses contracted by the Saskatoon School Boards only. A system will be implemented that accommodates travel in both directions. A single walkway will also remain open at all times during construction.

"Based on discussions with stakeholders, the critical needs of emergency vehicles, and the costs associated with a full closure, we believe this is the best solution for everyone involved," says Gutek. "We're deeply aware this work will have a significant impact on traffic flow in our City, but we are working to ensure the least disruption possible to carry out the repairs that are necessary for the safety and longevity of this important piece of infrastructure."

A project transportation plan is currently being prepared which involves identification of current and expected traffic delays at 26 key intersections. This information will be used to make improvements, assist with planning detours, and ultimately allow for better movement of traffic in our city.

The bridge is a four-lane concrete arch and girder bridge constructed in 1916.  The new concrete deck was built in 1972 with special lightweight concrete with a new waterproof membrane and asphalt riding surface.  In 1985, the waterproof membrane and asphalt riding surface were replaced.  The 1998/1999 rehabilitation replaced the sidewalks on both sides and the spandrel walls between the deck and the main arches.

The City has implemented a site rental fee of $10,000 per calendar day traffic is impacted to incentivize the contractor to complete the project quickly.

Completing the project early would translate into a bonus or savings for the contractor and benefit the citizens of Saskatoon by opening the bridge earlier than expected.

A late completion means the contractor would incur site rental charges, which therefore increases the contractors overall cost and reduces the city's overall cost.

last update:Feb 25, 2015

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