More than 215 participants attended two Public Information Sessions held in November. Feedback is vital to any provincial project, and we appreciate your participation. More than 132 responses were received through the online survey which provided additional feedback and suggestions on the freeway design concepts. All discussions and feedback will help inform the eventual design concepts for Phase One of the Saskatoon Freeway Functional Planning Study.
The Public Information Sessions and online survey focused on detailed concepts being proposed for:
- Highway 11, Wanuskewin Road, and Penner Road;
- Highway 12 interchange; and,
- Highway 16 interchange.
Some of themes that emerged in the survey included:
- Questions about driver access to and from the Freeway;
- Impact on commuters living north of Saskatoon;
- Speed limits;
- Environmental impacts on the swales;
- Impact of partial closure of existing Highway 11; and,
- Impact for frequent users of Wanuskewin Road.
The survey was available to everyone attending one of the two Public Information Sessions, as well as visitors to the saskatoonfreeway.org web site – which has all the information shared at the Public Information Sessions.
This public survey was just one element of a comprehensive public engagement effort undertaken as part of Phase One of the Saskatoon Freeway Functional Planning Study, which began almost a year ago. Throughout 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; and,
- the City of Saskatoon.
This wide-ranging public engagement ensured the project team heard input and ideas regarding the preferred Phase One freeway design framework. Over the past year, stakeholders from industry, municipalities, and environmental and heritage groups have also participated in formal technical working groups that advised the freeway project team.
With survey results now received, the project team has turned its attention to preparing a Phase One report that is expected to be completed in early 2020. Details on how this report will be shared publicly will be posted on saskatoonfreeway.org in the new year.
At the same time, the project team is preparing for Phase Two of the Saskatoon Freeway Functional Project Study, which will focus on the eastern and southeastern portion of the proposed freeway route. Starting in the winter of 2020, the same process used in Phase One will be employed – engaging with specific stakeholders who are directly impacted and then broadening efforts to include the larger Saskatoon and area general public.
Key milestones for Phase Two work will be posted on saskatoonfreeway.org