SASKATOON, SASK. – The City of Saskatoon is proceeding with the final phase of construction of Sid Buckwold Bridge on March 30 while acknowledging it will take into account and adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
A City of Saskatoon statement pointed to the project as a core part of the city’s infrastructure and that “with a very limited window for construction projects of this magnitude, it is important that such work is completed safely and in the most ideal seasonal conditions.”
“Safety for our crews and for residents is our number one priority during this project. Strict worksite restrictions, social distancing, and other precautionary medical measures will be in place to protect both construction crews and residents and to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” City of Saskatoon manager of asset preservation Rob Frank said.
Major rehabilitation of the 54-year-old structure began last year and includes resurfacing of the Idylwyld Drive ramps over 19th Street, walkway widening with tall barriers to protect pedestrians, concrete deck repairs and asphalt replacement, barrier replacement and strengthening of piers, and a new drainage system to improve traction by reducing puddles.
Northbound lanes heading into downtown will be closed and two-way traffic will be accommodated in the southbound lanes from March 30 to mid-October, and the bridge walkway and stairs will also be closed during construction.
The need for rehabilitation was identified by the city’s preservation plan along with its deck testing program and the project was phased over two years to allow two-way traffic over the bridge to be maintained throughout construction. The city is using $15 million of its federal Gas Tax Fund (GTF) allocations to fund the Sid Buckwold Bridge rehabilitation project.