The Saskatoon Freeway website has been quiet over the past couple of months due to restrictions around communicating during recent provincial and municipal elections, but the functional design team has been hard at work on a range of route design options for Phase 2 of this project.
We are on track to share these options – and ask for your input – at an online consultation in the first few months of 2021.
While we had planned to host an in-person open house, public health orders for indoor gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic mean this won’t be happening at this time. In-person open houses will return as soon as the public health orders are lifted; at that time, we will ensure that everyone who wants to have input into this project can do so.
Meanwhile, we are building an online consultation that will be simple to use, will deliver clear and comprehensive information, and will offer a chance to ask questions through a live chat function.
Phase 2 is the longest segment in the Saskatoon Freeway functional study and runs from Highway 11 just south of Grasswood and crosses Highway 16 East, Highway 5 and Highway 41. It continues across the South Saskatchewan River to the area south of Wanuskewin Heritage Park. It includes two high-speed connection points – Highway 11 and Highway 16 – which are both part of the National Highway system.
During the online consultation, we’ll be sharing information and options that tackle some of the biggest challenges in Phase 2, including:
- Options for where Highway 16 East intersects the Saskatoon Freeway via a new interchange that must account for the existing highway, the adjacent railway, and plans the City of Saskatoon have for the Zimmerman Road intersection;
- How the freeway will cross the swales on the northeast side of Saskatoon in the most ecologically sensitive way possible;
- How users of some key streets on the east side of Saskatoon – including Central Avenue, Blackley Road, and 8th Street – will access the freeway;
- Options being considered to ensure the spacing between the Highway 5, Highway 41, and Blackley Road interchanges allows for safe roadway operations as traffic volumes increase, including the option of combining the Highway 41 and Blackley Road interchanges; and
- The type of bridge that will be used to cross the South Saskatchewan River
We’ll also ask for feedback on the variety of measures being considered so we can avoid, reduce, or minimize the freeway’s impact on the Small Swale and Northeast Swale.
The 2021 online consultation is just one part of our comprehensive public engagement effort for the Saskatoon Freeway Functional Planning Study. Since early 2019, the project team has participated in dozens of group and one-on-one meetings with a wide range of individuals and organizations, including:
- Environmental/heritage stakeholders
- Indigenous organizations
- Impacted municipalities
- Industry stakeholders
- Businesses adjacent to the proposed route
- The City of Saskatoon
In addition, select stakeholders from industry, municipalities, and environmental and heritage groups continue to be participate in a number of technical working groups that provide advice to the freeway project team.
This comprehensive and wide-ranging public engagement approach ensures the functional study team hears all input and suggestions for the preferred Phase 2 freeway design framework.
If you have not already signed up for our mailing list, we encourage you to do so in order to stay informed and up-to-date by visiting: https://saskatoonfreeway.org/alerts/