Saskatoon drivers will honk their horns in delight to hear the University Bridge could reopen in as little as a week.
The City of Saskatoon announced Thursday the bridge’s rehabilitation project is two to three weeks ahead of schedule and the bridge will reopen before mid August. The bridge closed May 3 and was originally scheduled to reopen Aug. 30.
“The rehabilitation of the iconic university bridge is going very well right now. We’re very happy with the progress of the second phase of construction,” city asset preservation manager Rob Frank said.
Weather, contract incentives and lack of mishaps all sped up construction Frank said. The city does not have an exact date for the reopening.
Despite an early opening, the city will not save any money. Their $6-million contract with Ontario-based Horseshoe Hill Construction Inc includes a site rental clause where the company pays $10,000 a day to rent the road for the work. If work goes beyond Aug. 30, the city gets a discount on repairs, but if the company finishes early, the city doesn’t save anything.
“There’s no cost savings but there is a savings in time and I guess there is a cost savings in terms of economical cost savings for people traveling around the city,” Frank said.
Right now, concrete on the north side of the bridge is curing and contracting crews still need to finish grinding, smoothing, approach paving, crack filing, clean up and expansion join gland and pedestrian hand rail installations. The bridge will reopen before the concrete cures.
Once the concrete has 28 days to cure, the deck will be sealed and lines will be painted. Though the work will require some lane restrictions, Frank said he expects most of this work will take place at night and during off peak hours.
For the latest information residents can visit the University Bridge rehabilitation project website.
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