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North Commuter Parkway and Traffic Bridge

Bridging to Tomorrow Logo
 
The Bridging to Tomorrow Project includes the construction of the North Commuter Parkway and replacement of the Traffic Bridge. Graham Commuter Partners (GCP) is the contractor in charge of construction. Both bridges and surrounding road infrastructure is slated for completion in October of 2018. 

On this page, you will find monthly construction summaries, links to live cameras at each site, quarterly video updates, answers to frequently asked questions, and a history on how the Bridging to Tomorrow project came about.

Watch Construction LIVE!

Live Traffic Bridge Camera
Live North Commuter Parkway Camera 

Construction viewing areas are also in place at River Landing and on the Meewasin Trail, and from the Meewasin Trail located just east of the cul de sac at the north end of Kinnear Avenue (north of Silverwood Golf Course).

Video

Bridging to Tomorrow Quarterly Update 2 (July 2016)
Bridging to Tomorrow Quarterly Update 1 (April 2016)
 

Monthly Update: August 2016

The North Commuter Parkway will support the transportation needs of citizens who live in Saskatoon’s northeast and work in the Marquis and North Industrial Areas, reducing traffic on the city’s existing bridges. The new Traffic Bridge will support the growing city centre by allowing motorists, pedestrians and cyclists to cross the South Saskatchewan River between downtown and residential areas in the south sector. The new Traffic Bridge design will be similar to the design of the old bridge, but will be wider to accommodate emergency vehicles. 

Traffic Bridge Update – August 2016

GCP has completed concrete work on Pier 3 as well as the foundations and walls for the new north and south abutments. Construction of the southernmost span of the bridge (span 4) is anticipated to start within the next few weeks. GCP will use conventional weathering steel with a protective coating within the splash zone for the truss elements of the new Traffic Bridge. This will result in a two tone colour between the lower and upper portions of the structure until the patina can form on the exposed portions of the weathering steel. This process will eventually turn the entire bridge into one brown colour tone. Demolition of the last original bridge span of the Traffic Bridge is expected in November 2016.

North Commuter Parkway Update – August 2016

Parkway Bridge
Construction of the west pier (pier 1) is well underway, with the pier foundation, diaphragm, and columns already complete, and construction of the pier cap currently underway. The cofferdam was extended from the west bank to the centre of the river in late July and excavation work is underway to prepare for construction of Pier 2.

Parkway Roadways
Storm sewer installation for the widening of Central Avenue between Attridge Drive and Fedoruk Drive is nearing completion and the relocation of the SL&P overhead lines has started. Improvements to the intersection of Attridge Drive and Central Avenue, and the realignment of the eastbound off-ramp from Circle Drive East to Attridge Drive, commenced in May and both are expected to be fully complete in October.
 

Archived Monthly Updates & Timeline of Events 

Bridging to Tomorrow Update (July 2016)

The City and its project partners, Graham Commuter Partners (GCP), continue to make significant progress on the North Commuter Parkway and Traffic Bridge project - both of which will be complete in October of 2018. The North Commuter Parkway will support the transportation needs of citizens who live in Saskatoon’s northeast and work in the Marquis and North Industrial Areas, and will reduce traffic on the city’s existing bridges. The new Traffic Bridge will support the growing city centre by allowing motorists, pedestrians and cyclists to cross the river between the downtown and residential areas in the south sector of the city. The new bridge will look similar to the old one, but will be wider to accommodate emergency vehicles. 

NORTH COMMUTER PARKWAY 

Parkway Bridge
Crews continue work to build Pier 1. The diaphragm for the pier has been poured and is being backfilled and the columns are being reinforced. This construction will continue over the summer. Progress on earthworks for the east embankment of the bridge remains steady and in mid-July, work on the east embankment will begin. Crews have also begun stripping and backfilling work on the west embankment.

Parkway Roadways
Clearing and topsoil stripping for the new roadways is now complete and earthwork operations continue along McOrmond Drive and Central Avenue. Storm sewer construction for the new lanes of Central Avenue between Attridge Drive and Fedoruk Drive continues and should be complete in July, at which time overhead power lines will be relocated.

Work to improve the Attridge Drive and Central Avenue intersection continues and this work, as well the Marquis Drive and Wanuskewin Road intersection, should be complete by fall. 

TRAFFIC BRIDGE

This past month, crews continued working on the footing for the south abutment and are now building the south abutment walls. Concrete work on Pier 3 was also completed and the pier is now ready to support the installation of the first new span of the bridge which will happen later this summer.

Over the next month, work on the south abutment will continue including piling, and the completion of the pile cap and crews will begin to build the south abutment wall. North abutment work, including excavation, backfill, and the installation of footing concrete is now underway.

Renderings of the new pathways on the south side of the new Traffic Bridge were received from GCP. These will be formally submitted to the Meewasin Valley Authority over the summer months to complete their development review.

Bridging to Tomorrow Project Update (June 2016) 

Another piece of Saskatoon’s Bridging to Tomorrow project was unveiled during the June 13, 2016 Standing Policy Committee on Transportation. The committee was presented with a rendering of what the pathways on the south side of the new Traffic Bridge will look like.

“The rendering shows three meter wide pathways on each side of Victoria Avenue extending down the new bridge embankment and connecting to the existing Meewasin Trail,” said Dan Willems, Director of Major Projects. “The design concept will provide greatly increased functionality by enhancing pedestrian and cyclist access between the new Traffic Bridge and the Meewasin Trail in Rotary Park.”

The City’s Bridging to Tomorrow contractor, Graham Commuter Partners (GCP), will formally submit the design to the Meewasin Valley Authority over the summer months to complete Development Review. The new pathway connections will be completed with the new bridge, which remains scheduled to be complete in October 2018.

Anyone can follow Bridging to Tomorrow construction progress on this page. This page includes video updates, photos, and live webcams showing construction of the new Traffic Bridge and North Commuter Parkway. Construction viewing areas are also in place at River Landing and on the Meewasin Trail just north of the GCP construction trailer site, and from the Meewasin Trail located just east of the cul-de-sac at the north end of Kinnear Avenue (north of Silverwood Golf Course).

Bridging to Tomorrow Project Update (May 2016)

The City and its project partners, Graham Commuter Partners (GCP), continue to make significant progress on the North Commuter Parkway and Traffic Bridge projects!

Once complete in 2018, the North Commuter Parkway will support the transportation needs of citizens who live in Saskatoon’s northeast and work in the Marquis and North Industrial Areas, reducing traffic on the city’s existing bridges. The new Traffic Bridge, also slated for completion in 2018, will support the growing city centre by allowing motorists, pedestrians and cyclists to cross the river between the downtown and residential areas in the south sector of the city. The new bridge will look similar to the old one, but will be wider to accommodate emergency vehicles. 

NORTH COMMUTER PARKWAY 

Parkway Bridge

A cofferdam has been built in the river which will allow new bridge construction to begin. This temporary enclosure provides a dry area in which to construct the pier, and construction of Pier 1 is underway. Work includes excavating the cofferdam at the pier location and fabricating the forms for the pier. Construction on the east embankment of the new bridge is also well underway.

Parkway Roadways

Clearing and topsoil stripping for the new roadways is now complete and earthwork operations continue along McOrmond Drive and Central Avenue. Storm sewers are being constructed for the new lanes of Central Avenue between Attridge Drive and Fedoruk Drive. Work to improve the Attridge Drive and Central Avenue intersection will soon begin.

By this fall, upgrades to the Attridge Drive/Central Avenue intersection, and the Marquis Drive and Waneskewin Road intersection will be complete.  Drainage, waterline and sewer infrastructure should be installed along Central Avenue, and overhead powerlines should be relocated along Central Avenue.

Excavation Underway for Pier 1 and Filling and Packing of East Embankment                

TRAFFIC BRIDGE

Work to refurbish the south in-river pier (Pier 3) continues. This included setting forms in place and pouring concrete into the new pier shaft. The piers will support the new bridge structure.

The south abutment, the structure at the end of the bridge upon which the main bridge structure will rest, is also being constructed. Piles have been drilled to support the south abutment.

Over the next month construction of Pier 3 and the south abutment will continue. By this fall, Pier 3, the south abutment, the north abutment, and the new south span (Span 4) should be complete.

Reinforcing on Pier 3 and Pile Drilling for South Abutment               

 

North Commuter Parkway Update - April 2016

Since the February declaration of construction starting on the Bridging to Tomorrow project, the City and project partners, Graham Commuter Partners (GCP), have completed a substantial amount work on both the North Commuter Parkway and the new Traffic Bridge.

Once complete in 2018, the North Commuter Parkway will support the transportation needs of citizens who live in Saskatoon’s northeast and work in the Marquis and North Industrial Areas, reducing traffic on the city’s existing bridges. The new Traffic Bridge, also slated for completion in 2018, will support the growing city centre by allowing motorists, pedestrians and cyclists to cross the river between the downtown and residential areas in the south sector of the city. The new bridge will look similar to the old bridge, but will be wider with the ability to accommodate emergency vehicles.

Parkway Bridge
A road has been constructed on the west side of the river to access the construction site. All regulatory permits to begin in-river construction have been received and work on an earthen berm to support construction of the first bridge pier has been built. By August, the first pier should be complete and work on the second pier will begin.

ncp    
Two clay berms (walls) have been installed                    View of the construction site looking northwest.                    
through the Northeast Swale to prevent water
from draining into the work zone.
  

Parkway Roadways
Construction of the Parkway’s new roadways has begun. Clearing, topsoil stripping and ditch excavation are underway for the twinning and extension of Central Avenue to intersect with McOrmond Drive. This road will be extended to connect to the Parkway bridge. Earth has been moved to consolidate the ground under the future roadway in the Northeast Swale, and two clay berms (walls) have been installed through the Northeast Swale to prevent water from draining into the work zone. This work is being monitored by GCP’s environmental consultant and audited by the City’s technical advisor.

Improvements to the intersections of Central Avenue and Attridge Drive, and Marquis Drive and Wanuskewin Road, will begin in May.  

Traffic Bridge Update - April 2016

Throughout the remainder of April, crews are continuing to work on refurbishing the south in-river pier (concrete column that supports the bridge deck), and are drilling piles to build the south abutment (supporting end of the bridge on the riverbank). The north berm that supported the bridge demolition has been removed, and crews have also finished removing part of the south berm to reduce impacts on river navigation. Later this spring and throughout summer, the southernmost pier will be reconstructed, the new north and south bridge abutments will be built, and the steel structure for the new southernmost span will be constructed. 

Traffic
Crews have installed sheet piling around the                 Crews work to refurbish Pier 3 by “coring” through the
south in-river pier and the pier has been excavated.
    ​pier to install reinforced bar.
 
Update! February 12, 2016: Project Officially Launched! 

While work on the Traffic Bridge has already begun, federal, provincial and City officials have now formerly declared the North Commuter Parkway project construction underway.

       announcement

Quick Facts: 

  • The bridge projects will create the equivalent of 600 year-long jobs.
  • About 175 people will be working on the project at the peak of construction.
  • Over 1 million hours of work will go into building the new bridges.
  • Most new jobs created are slated to go to local residents.
  • Bridge designers and subcontractors are locally hired. 
 
Update!  February 8, 2016: Phase 2 of Traffic Bridge Demolition Is Complete 

At 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 7, a portion of the far north span of the Traffic Bridge was successfully collapsed using explosive charges. Following a safety inspection and making the area secure, road closures and traffic detours are in the process of being lifted as is the 250 m exclusion zone.

Graham Commuter Partners (GCP) managed the demolition through their contract with Rakowski Cartage & Wrecking Ltd. The Saskatoon Police Service and Saskatoon Fire Department patrolled the area surrounding Traffic Bridge to ensure public safety.

Once the debris from the demolition is cleared, construction on the new bridge will continue. GCP remains hopeful that residents will start to see the first new southern span being erected by this summer.

The remaining middle span of the old bridge will be taken down as construction progresses. Details on future demolition dates will be shared as they are known.

The City wishes to thank residents, especially property owners and tenants within the exclusion zone, for their cooperation during this second phase of demolition. 

Demo Phase 2   Demo Phase 2 

Demo Phase 2

Anyone interested in viewing progress of the Traffic Bridge construction can do so through a live webcam feed available on the GCP website.

February 8, 2016: January Open House Feedback

Open house events to share information about the Bridging to Tomorrow Project were held on January 26 and January 27, 2016. Almost 200 people attended the events.

Overall, feedback and comments from the public regarding the project was positive. A total of 26 people filled out comment forms.

Residents were interested in knowing more about how cyclists and pedestrians would share the multi-use pathways on the new Traffic Bridge, bridge lighting, and how the bridge could be used for public events and festivals.

Regarding the North Commuter Parkway, resident’s questions and comments focused on how the Northeast Swale would be protected, how animals would be affected, the potential for noise and light pollution, questions about the future freeway the province is expecting to build, and access to the Parkway from Wanuskewin Road and Highways 5 and 41.

A complete list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the project are located in the Related Documents section of this page. 

 
February 4, 2016: North Span of Traffic Bridge Coming Down February 7 @ 8:30 a.m.
 

Anyone interested in viewing progress of the Traffic Bridge construction can do so through a live webcam feed available on the GCP website.

Graham Commuter Partners (GCP) will implement Phase 2 of demolition of the old Traffic Bridge on Sunday, February 7 at 8:30 a.m. This phase includes taking down the far north span of the bridge using explosive charges.

As with the first phase of demolition that took place on January 10, 2016, GCP and licensed blasting specialist Rakowski Cartage & Wrecking Ltd., in consultation with the City of Saskatoon, will take down the span according to a comprehensive demolition plan that outlines the blast procedure and clean-up, and ensures safety measures are in place to ensure public and occupational health and safety.

A designated exclusion zone, a radius of 250 meters from the blasting site, will be in place one hour prior to the blast to limit public access near the site.

Residents and businesses located within this zone will be notified by the contractor in writing and provided with safety information, including the direction to remain indoors during the demolition. A Notify Now message from the City will also be sent following the blast.

To ensure public safety, Saskatoon Police Services and contracted safety officers will be on site around the exclusion zone perimeter, and the Saskatoon Fire Department will be patrolling the South Saskatchewan River and riverbank.

Important Safety Message: The City is reminding residents to stay off of the river ice. At this time of year, and particularly with the warmer weather Saskatoon has been experiencing, the river is extremely dangerous. Barriers and security officers are being added to this phase of the demolition to ensure residents stay off the ice and everyone remains safe during the demolition.

Want to watch?

The best viewing area for members of the public wishing to watch the demolition is the south half of Broadway Bridge, which will be closed to vehicle traffic during the demolition. This is a safe area which does not require the use of eye or ear protection and there is no risk of flying debris or dust from the demolition in this area.

Road closures and traffic detours will be in place during the demolition to ensure no vehicles can access the exclusion zone.

What will you see and hear?

  • Prior to the blast, you will hear a series of short sirens to signal the start of the demolition.
  • Once the explosive charges have been detonated, the span will fall to one side onto the berm.
  • The contractor will check the blast site to ensure all explosives have been detonated and the site is safe.
  • Once the area is deemed safe, a longer all-clear siren will occur. 

Anyone interested in viewing progress of the Traffic Bridge construction can do so through a live webcam feed available on the GCP website.

Demo Phase 2

January 25, 2016: North Commuter Parkway Construction Update 

Residents and business owners in Saskatoon’s industrial area may notice an unpleasant odour in the air starting Tuesday, January 26 and lasting about 11 days.

Graham Commuter Partners, the company the City contracted to undertake the Bridging to Tomorrow Project, is beginning an environmental remediation (excavation and removal of contaminated earth) of  the land along the proposed project area, which the City recently bought for the project.

The Bridging to Tomorrow initiative includes the construction of the North Commuter Parkway and Bridge and the new Traffic Bridge, both of which will provide significant benefits to the citizens of Saskatoon and the province. For more information, visit Saskatoon.ca/bridging.

Why is the clean-up needed?

During the 1960s and 1970s, this small area was used as a landfill.  The earth-covered waste material is primarily tallow (animal fats). The removal and replacement will ensure the soil meets the new Saskatchewan Environmental Code Standards.

Is the odour harmful?

The work may be stinky , but it’s not harmful. The City will monitor the area and work with GCP to ensure all reasonable controls are in place to control the odour as much as possible.

If residents have questions or concerns, they may call GCP’s information line at 1-877-800-0138.

Safety Reminder:

Residents are reminded to please comply with posted signage and construction fencing designed to maintain a safe perimeter around the construction area.  

January 22, 2016: Traffic Bridge Work to Begin on North Side of River

Traffic Bridge work is starting on the north side of the South Saskatchewan River

Berms:

Graham Commuter Partners, the company contracted by the City to undertake the construction of the Bridging to Tomorrow Project, will be constructing a berm that extends from the north bank of the river to the northernmost in-river pier. Once the north berm is in place, GCP will take down the span closest to the north riverbank using explosive charges.

More details on this next stage of demolition will be available soon

Meewasin Trail Detours:

As this work takes place, Meewasin Trail detours adjacent to Spadina Crescent East on the north side of the river will be put in place. Information on the detours will be marked along the Trail. You can also find them under the ‘Related Documents’ right-hand sidebar on this page. 

Construction areas

Safety Reminder:

Residents are reminded to please comply with posted signage and construction fencing designed to maintain a safe perimeter around the construction area.  

January 11, 2016: Traffic Bridge South Spans Taken Down

Thousands of people gathered on the Broadway Bridge on Sunday, January 10, 2016 to watch the two south spans of the old Traffic Bridge come down.

The demolition was managed by Graham Commuter Partners (GCP), through their contract with licensed blasting specialist Rakowski Cartage & Wrecking Ltd. Saskatoon’s Police Service and Fire Department patrolled the area surrounding Traffic Bridge to ensure public safety.

Once the debris from the demolition is cleared, construction of the south portion of the new bridge will begin. The remaining two northern spans of the old bridge will be taken down as construction progresses. Updates will be provided when timelines are known. 

Demolition2

Thank you to residents, especially property owners and tenants within the exclusion zone, for their cooperation during this first phase of demolition. 

Anyone interested in viewing progress of the Traffic Bridge construction can do so through a live webcam feed available on the GCP website.

 

January 5, 2016: South Spans of Traffic Bridge Coming Down January 10 @ 9:00 a.m.

Now that the berm required to access the river is complete, the next phase of the project includes taking down sections of the old bridge so that new construction can begin.

This Sunday at 9:00 a.m. the two southern most spans of the bridge will be demolished using explosive charges.

Graham Commuter Partners (GCP) and licensed blasting specialist Rakowski Cartage & Wrecking Ltd., in consultation with the City of Saskatoon, will take down the spans according to a comprehensive demolition plan that outlines the blast procedure and clean-up, and ensures safety measures are in place to ensure public and occupational health and safety.

A designated exclusion zone, a radius of 250 meters from the blasting site, will be in place one hour prior to the blast to limit public access near the site.

Residents and businesses located within this zone will be notified by the contractor in writing and provided with safety information, including the direction to remain indoors during the demolition. A Notify Now message from the City will also be sent prior to the blast.

To ensure public safety, Saskatoon Police Services and contracted safety officers will be on site around the exclusion zone perimeter, and the Saskatoon Fire Department will be patrolling the South Saskatchewan River and riverbank.

Want to watch?

The best viewing area for members of the public wishing to watch the demolition is the Broadway Bridge, which will be closed to traffic during the demolition. This is a safe area which does not require the use of eye or ear protection and there is no risk of flying debris or dust from the demolition in this area.

Road closures and traffic detours will be place during the demolition to ensure no vehicles can access the exclusion zone.

What will you see and hear?

  • Prior to the blast, you will hear a series of short sirens to signal the start of the demolition.
  • Once the explosive charges have been detonated, the two spans will fall onto the berm.
  • The contractor will check the blast site to ensure all explosives have been detonated and the site is safe.
  • Once the area is deemed safe, a longer all-clear siren will occur.

exclusion

December 22, 2015: Traffic Bridge Berm Construction Complete

The berm required to access the river to work on the first phase of the Traffic Bridge is now complete. 

About 20,000 cubic metres of stone and clay till was used to construct this berm. If you think of this in terms of mass, that’s about 250 blue whales! Stockpiling of berm material was completed on December 21.

Now that crews and equipment have a built up area on which to work, the next phase of construction can begin. Demolition preparation will begin in early January, with demolition of the two southernmost spans. Additional details regarding the demolition will be provided in the coming weeks.

December 5, 2015: Open House Feedback

An open house event to share information about the Bridging to Tomorrow Project on December 2, 2015 was attended by over 70 members of the public.

Overall, comments and feedback from the public regarding the project was positive. A total of 13 people filled out comment forms. Topics residents were interested in knowing more about included how the cyclists would use the multi-use pathways on both sides of the Traffic Bridge and where they would connect to, how increased traffic on the bridge would impact the Spadina Crescent round-about, and how the bridge could be used for public events and festivals.

Regarding the North Commuter Parkway, resident’s questions and comments were regarding speed on the parkway bridge, how animals would be affected, the potential for noise and light pollution, and where the province is expecting to build its new freeway.

A complete list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the project are located in the Related Documents section of this page. 

December 1, 2015: Open House Come & Go

An Open House will be held on Wednesday, December 2nd from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Victoria Public School Library located at 639 Broadway Avenue.

The Open House will provide information the project construction and design.

October 21, 2015: Request for Regulatory Approvals Underway

As the project advances through the Commercial and Financial Close process, Graham Commuter Parkers (GCP) is proceeding with obtaining the regulatory approvals required to begin construction in the South Saskatchewan River.

Approvals are required from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Transport Canada, Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment, Saskatchewan Water Security Agency, and Meewasin Valley Authority.

Traffic Bridge Design Details

The new Traffic Bridge is proposed to be a four span arrangement, with new reinforced concrete piers constructed around the existing piers within the river. The bridge geometry will be similar to the existing bridge, however the bridge will be slightly wider and taller, to accommodate wider traffic lanes, wider pathways on both sides, and overhead clearance for emergency vehicles.

In compliance with the requirements of the Project Agreement, the new bridge structure will be a modern truss structure and will include two 3.7 m wide traffic lanes and two 3.0 m multi-use pathways. The project will include direct pathway connections to Rotary Park, however the configuration of these has yet to be confirmed by GCP.

Next Steps

While construction could begin in late 2015/early 2016, GCP cannot confirm a construction start date until approvals from the various regulatory agencies are secured.

Once the City reaches financial close with GCP later this month, a report outlining the financial details of the proposal will be provided to City Council.

September 3, 2015: Contract awarded to Graham Commuter Partners

The City of Saskatoon has awarded the contract to Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Maintain the North Commuter Parkway and Traffic Bridge to Graham Commuter Partners. The price proposal from Graham Commuter Partners is within the City’s approved budget for the project.

With award of the Request for Proposal to Graham Commuter Partners, the project has entered the “Close Period”. During this period, the project company is created, financing is secured, and the contract is executed. The Close Period is expected to require approximately 60 days. By November 2015, a report will be brought back to City Council outlining the financial details of the proposal.

Some construction activities may begin as early as Fall 2015. The project remains scheduled for substantial completion in October 2018.

October 3, 2014: Three teams short-listed 

Three teams have been short-listed to build the North Commuter Parkway and new replacement Traffic Bridge.

The teams are:

  • Bridge City Infrastructure Group (Aecon Concessions, Bank of Nova Scotia, CH2M Hill Canada Ltd., Flatiron Constructors Canada Limited, Hatch Mott MacDonald Ltd., Hochtief PPP Solutions North America Inc., P. Machibroda Engineering Ltd., Volker Stevin Highways Ltd.)
  • Bridge City Partners (Acciona Concessions Canada, AECOM, DIF Infra 3 Canada,  Mainroad Holdings Ltd., Natixis, Pacer Projects Corp,
  • Graham Commuter Partners (ASL Paving, BBGI, Buckland & Taylor, Clifton, Gracorp Capital Partners LP, Graham Infrastructure, National Bank Financial, Tetra Tech)

The teams were chosen based on the results of the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process. Seven teams in total responded to the RFQ.

The next step in the procurement process is the Request for Proposal which will be released to the short-listed firms in December 2014.

December 16, 2014:  RFP Issued to Shortlisted Teams

The Request for Proposals (RFP) to Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Maintain the Traffic Bridge and the North Commuter Parkway has been approved by the City, and issued to the three teams that were shortlisted to build the projects: Bridge City Infrastructure Group, Bridge City Partners, and Graham Commuter Partners.

Teams will have until summer 2015 to respond to the RFP. It is expected the Project

Agreement will be in place with the Preferred Proponent by November 2015.

RFP Process & Requirements (Public-Private Partnership (P3) Procurement)

The RFP was developed with the City's external consultants based on the City’s functional plans and industry best practices.

Based on a draft Project Agreement containing project terms and conditions that will be supplied, teams will provide technical and financial specifications regarding how they will design, construct, finance, operate and maintain the project over a 30-year operations/maintenance period.

The technical proposals will be scored based on the following criteria:

  • General Technical Plans: 25%
  • Design Submission: 30%
  • Construction Submission: 25%
  • Operations, Maintenance and Rehabilitation Submission: 20%

Technical submissions will be scored on a pass/fail basis, with 70% being the threshold to proceed to the financial plan and price submission.

The financial plan will also be scored on a pass/fail basis. Only teams with a score of 70% of higher will have their price submission evaluated.

The price submission will include capital construction costs, operating and maintenance costs, and renewal costs over the 30-year term of the project.

The Preferred Proponent will be the Team that passes both the technical submission and the financing plan, and has the lowest price submission, on a net present value basis.

The project’s Fairness Monitor will be involved in every step of the RFP process to ensure the City conducts the RFP process fairly and in accordance with the RFP documents and good industry practice.

North Commuter Parkway Project

The North Commuter Parkway and the Traffic Bridge Replacement Project is part of the Bridging to Tomorrow initiative. Both will provide significant benefits to the citizens of Saskatoon and the province. 

Bridging to Tomorrow is about investing in our future for the benefit of everyone and is focused on:

  • Making strategic investments in public infrastructure to address the existing travel demands of our rapidly growing city and province.
  • Having effective and efficient infrastructure that is integral to the jobs, growth, and prosperity that defines the remarkable performance of the Saskatoon economy, which is critical to the quality of life enjoyed by our citizens.
  • Providing critical commuter connections in key areas of the city, addressing traffic congestion, reducing intersection delays, shortening travel times, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Ensuring reliable and responsive service, using strong management and fiscally responsible strategies, communicating effectively, and demonstrating innovation and creativity.
  • Achieving our strategic goals related to continuous improvement, asset and financial sustainability, quality of life, moving around, environmental leadership, sustainable growth and economic diversity and prosperity. 
  • Achieving the planning goals for the Growing Forward! Shaping Saskatoon initiative.

Watch this video to learn more.

Formerly called the “North Commuter Bridge”, the North Commuter Parkway project will link the Marquis Industrial area with the University Heights area, by extending Marquis Drive across the South Saskatchewan River and connecting to McOrmond Drive at Fedoruk Drive. This drone video shows the future site of the North Commuter Parkway

On the west side of the South Saskatchewan River:

  • Marquis Drive will be extended to connect to a new 400 metre long, six-lane bridge.
  • A six-lane arterial roadway will connect Wanuskewin Road to the bridge.
  • Pedestrian and cyclist facilities will be constructed.

On the east side of the South Saskatchewan River:

  • McOrmond Drive will be extended to connect to the new bridge.
  • Central Avenue will be twinned and extended to intersect with McOrmond Drive.
  • Sound attenuation requirements will be evaluated for existing residential areas along Central Avenue north of Attridge Drive.
  • McOrmond Drive will be five lanes between the bridge and the intersection with Central Avenue, and then four lanes east of the intersection with Central Avenue.
  • Improvements will be made to the intersection of Central Avenue and Attridge Drive.
  • Pedestrian and cyclist facilities will be constructed.

The Parkway will:

  • Help support the transportation needs of citizens as the City grows by providing a critical commuter connection across the South Saskatchewan River that links the Marquis Industrial Area with Saskatoon’s northeast residential developments;
  • Reduce traffic on existing bridges, particularly the Circle Drive North Bridge, resulting in positive traffic impacts city-wide; and
  • Help to increase economic productivity in Saskatoon by significantly reducing traffic congestion in the City's North Industrial Area.
  • Traffic volume on opening day is expected to range from 14,600 to 21,700 vehicles per day. This will result in a nine per cent reduction in existing traffic using the Circle Drive North Bridge and additional reductions in traffic across the City’s other river bridges.
  • With a future population of 300,000, up to 40,000 vehicles are expected to use the Parkway each day. At a future population of 400,000, over 50,000 vehicles are expected to use the Parkway each day.

Swale Crossing:

  • As part of the North Commuter Parkway Project, the swale crossing is the location where there has been some public interest in constructing a crossing for animals.  During the approval process, the swale crossing was a major point of consideration for the City and the MVA.  After studying the various wildlife in the area, it was resolved to install culverts with the bottom portion covered in earth to allow small amphibians to cross the roadway using the culvert, and speed limits were set at a maximum of 50km/hr through the swale area.  
  • More substantial wildlife overpasses or underpasses are typically used where major wildlife crossing corridors intersect high speed highways or freeways, which is not the case in Saskatoon.  Therefore, we are confident that the solution being implemented will result in a safe and reasonable environment considering all factors.

Based on an estimated design and construction starting date of fall 2015, a completion date for the project has been set for late 2018.

Traffic Bridge Replacement Project

The new Traffic Bridge will be a four span arrangement, with new reinforced concrete piers constructed around the existing piers within the river. The bridge geometry will be similar to the old bridge, but will be slightly wider and taller to accommodate wider traffic lanes, wider pathways on both sides, and overhead clearance for emergency vehicles.

In compliance with the requirements of the Project Agreement, the new bridge structure will be a modern truss structure and will include two 3.7 m wide traffic lanes and two 3.0 m multiuse pathways. The project will include direct pathway connections to Rotary Park, however the configuration of these has yet to be confirmed by GCP.

The Traffic Bridge was closed in August 2010 due to public safety concerns as a result of advanced deterioration of critical structural members. Following extensive public consultations and a Needs Assessment and Functional Planning Study conducted on the existing Traffic Bridge, a decision was made by City Council to replace the existing bridge with a modern steel truss bridge with multi-use pathways on either side.

The new Traffic Bridge will provide an important link for commuter, pedestrians and cyclists crossing the river between downtown and residential areas in the south part of the city.

The design will provide a unique look, maintaining elements of the original heritage and character of the existing bridge, while meeting modern bridge engineering standards. The existing vertical profile of the bridge will be retained and the overhead clearances will be maintained, and existing traffic movements to enter and exit the bridge on either side of the river will be maintained.

The new Traffic Bridge will:

  • Provide an important linkage for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists crossing the river between the downtown employment area and residential areas in the south sector of the city, and will support the growing city centre.
  • Play a significant role in providing access to the downtown area by offering an additional way to cross the river, particularly when other core river bridges are undergoing maintenance.
  • Enhance the movement of pedestrians and cyclists with wide 3.0 metre multi-use pathways located on each side of the bridge. Cyclists may also travel in the driving lanes, which will be marked with sharrows.
  • Provide 3.7 metre wide driving lanes that will enable emergency vehicles like fire trucks to use the bridge, and make the bridge a potential transit route. The wider lanes will also reduce the frequency of side-swipes and collisions.
  • Accommodate average traffic volumes estimated to approach 11,000 vehicles per day, with capacity to serve over 20,000 vehicles per day.

Traffic Bridge Proposed Concept Design

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Anyone interested in viewing progress of the Traffic Bridge construction can do so through a live webcam feed available on the GCP website.

A drone video of the old Traffic Bridge can be viewed here. 

Project Costs

The estimated capital cost of the North Commuter Parkway is $211.4 million, and the estimated cost to replace the Traffic Bridge is $41.2 million. The total estimated capital cost to construct Parkway and replace the Traffic Bridge is $252.6 million. In May 2013, City Council approved that the North Commuter Parkway Project, which is combined with the Traffic Bridge Replacement Project to take advantage of joint financing and competitive pricing; and that Administration continue to pursue available funding for these projects from the Federal and Provincial Governments.

A funding application was submitted to PPP Canada (P3 Canada) in June 2013. The P3 Canada Fund is focused on provincial, territorial, municipal and First Nations public private partnership infrastructure projects. The amount of the funding support, in combination with any other direct federal assistance, may not exceed 25 per cent of the project's direct construction costs.

The Business Case for P3 Funding will be used to help the City and PPP Canada make decisions with respect to the construction and development of the North Commuter Parkway Project and the Traffic Bridge Replacement Project. 

Appendix E to North Commuter Parkway PPP Canada Business Case 
Appendix F to North Commuter Parkway PPP Canada Business Case

On June 9, 2014, P3 Canada announced the Government of Canada will contribute up to $66 million of the direct construction costs to build the North Commuter Parkway and replace the Traffic Bridge. The Province of Saskatchewan also announced a contribution of $50 million to be used to help fund the building of the Parkway. The City of Saskatoon will contribute the remaining funds to complete the project.

Watch a video of the announcement.

Planning Process and Timeline

Based on a confirmation date for funding in June 2014 and design and construction start date of fall 2015, a completion target for the project has been set for October 2018. 

An estimate of the planning process and timeline for completion of the North Commuter Parkway is as follows:  

  •  Funding Approval from PPP Canada and Government of Saskatchewan - June 2014
  •  Pre-qualification Period (RFQ) - July-October 2014
  •  Procurement Period (RFP) - January-November 2015
  •  Design and Construction - November 2015-October 2018
  •  Project Completion - October 2018

*These dates are best estimates and may fluctuate based on weather and other unforeseen circumstances

RFP Process & Requirements (Public-Private Partnership (P3) Procurement)

The RFP was developed with the City's external consultants based on the City’s functional plans and industry best practices. Based on a draft Project Agreement containing project terms and conditions that will be supplied, teams will provide technical and financial specifications regarding how they will design, construct, finance, operate and maintain the project over a 30-year operations/maintenance period.

The technical proposals will be scored based on the following criteria:

  • General Technical Plans: 25%
  • Design Submission: 30%
  • Construction Submission: 25%
  • Operations, Maintenance and Rehabilitation Submission: 20%

Technical submissions will be scored on a pass/fail basis, with 70% being the threshold to proceed to the financial plan and price submission. The financial plan will also be scored on a pass/fail basis. Only teams with a score of 70% of higher will have their price submission evaluated. The price submission will include capital construction costs, operating and maintenance costs, and renewal costs over the 30-year term of the project.

The Preferred Proponent will be the Team that passes both the technical submission and the financing plan, and has the lowest price submission, on a net present value basis.

The project’s Fairness Monitor will be involved in every step of the RFP process to ensure the City conducts the RFP process fairly and in accordance with the RFP documents and good industry practice.