Watching the last remaining span of Saskatoon’s old Traffic Bridge come down won’t be nearly as exciting as watching demolition of the first two.
Back on Jan. 10, thousands of people braved frigid temperatures to gather along the riverbank to watch a section of the old span come down by way of explosion.
About a month later, on Feb. 7, a modest crowd gathered to watch the most-northern section blow up.
Originally, the plan was to use explosives to take down the last remaining section as well, but that has changed.
Now the strategy is to use equipment to tear it down one piece at a time.
Dan Willems, director of major projects for Saskatoon, provided an update on the bridge Tuesday.
“The major driving factor in using explosives the first time around was to protect the existing in-river pier from damage when they were demolishing it, so they used explosives to severe it and drop it straight down,” Willems said.
“The contractor had a little more difficulty in refurbishing the existing piers, so they’ve since decided to demolish the other two original piers and just build new ones.”
Demolition is set for November.
Work also continues on the new North Commuter Parkway and the project is said to be on time and on budget.
Pier one is nearing completion and work is beginning on the second pier.
“From now on, we will really start to see both bridges take shape with concrete pier construction and steel spans being put into place,” Willems said. “The first North Commuter Parkway span may even be up before the end of this year.”
The goal is have both bridges operational by late 2018.