Work on Phase 1 of the functional study was substantially completed in April 2020. Click to find out more about Phase 1.
For the remainder of 2020 and into early 2021, the focus of the Saskatoon Freeway design team will be on Phase 2. Click to find Phase 2 updates.
What is a functional planning study?
The functional planning study builds on the work of the Saskatoon Freeway general location study –completed in 2018 – by gathering additional information such as topographic, drainage, environmental and heritage data. It also considers regional development plans to predict traffic volumes and travel patterns through 2043.
This information is used to determine the centre line of the freeway and conceptual types of interchanges and service roads to get on and off the freeway. The functional planning study will also lead to more precise cost estimates.
The study will more accurately identify land required for construction. It will allow some temporary land restrictions to be lifted. The current 500-metre-wide corridor in which land development has been restricted can be reduced by approximately 75 per cent when the study is done.
The finalized study will also give people who live along the corridor a better understanding of where and how their land will be impacted, so they can plan accordingly. If you live along the route, you may have engineers and other professionals requesting access to your land for soil testing and other work as the functional study continues.
More information for landowners can be found here.
A completed study also enables the Ministry of Highways to begin detailed planning and development work with municipalities and other key stakeholders.
The Saskatoon Freeway is expected to be a minimum four-lane, 55-kilometre stretch of divided highway that will divert traffic away from the city. It will improve traffic flow to and from the city and surrounding municipalities. It will connect with eight provincial highways, and some municipal roads.
It will potentially have 15 interchanges, five railway overpasses, two flyovers and one major river crossing.
The study will examine environmentally sensitive areas. Working with stakeholders, the design team will look at ways to eliminate, minimize or offset potential impacts.
The northeast portion of the freeway – which will be a key area of study in Phase 2 – will pass through the ecologically sensitive Northeast Swale and Small Swale, close to the extension of Central Avenue/McOrmond Road.
Throughout the functional planning process, a wide range of stakeholders and members of the public will be asked to share their input. This includes:
- Impacted and adjacent landowners
- Saskatchewan Trucking Association
- Saskatoon Tribal Council
- Saskatoon-area First Nations
- Adjacent regional municipalities
- Meewasin Valley Authority
- Wanuskewin Heritage Park
- Northeast Swale Watchers
- North Saskatoon Business Association
- Property developers.
In Phase 1, come-and-go sessions provided information and gathered feedback from the public and other stakeholders.
While the functional study will continue as the province deals with COVID-19, the way we engage with stakeholders will change. This is a key component of the project and we recognize the need to have important and frank discussion. We are utilizing online communication tools which provide face-to-face contact as well telephone conversations and other digital technology to assist us in hearing comments and concerns. We continue to post information to our website and plan to utilize video in our content as work begins on Phase 2.
Keep up to date on news from the Saskatoon Freeway Project Functional Planning Study – click here to sign up for our email alerts.