MESSAGE FROM COUNCILLOR TIFFANY PAULSEN MAY 4

Published by WCA on

1. What is going on with the intersection of Highways 11 and 16 – and why is the City doing this work during the UNIVERSITY Bridge closure – details below!

A few weeks back, as part of our launch of construction projects for the year, the City announced the project for Highway 11 & 16 cloverleaf.

This project began last week and is expected to last approximately 4 months.

The City will be repairing key elements in the Highway 16 over Highway 11 eastbound and westbound overpasses. The construction is planned for the 2015 season and is expected to be 3 to 4 months. The contract includes the installation of a traffic crossover to allow for complete access to the repair elements, while accommodating traffic on the other associated structure. (deterioration pictures below)

The nature of the work is to dig out each abutment end, fix the girder ends and re-establish end diaphragm and approach.

There is risk of failure and to the capacity and integrity of these two structures as they have been neglected for many years and were taken over from Sask Highways a few years ago. If this project was not able to proceed, the City would probably be closing lanes where the girder ends were failing and moving, as well as downgrading the allowable loads that can go on them.

When the City put the job out, they asked for alternate pricing with any and all methods and ideas to save any schedule impact to traffic.  Only one bidder out of the group put forth an alternate and it was over double the City’s budget.  The Contractor on the project has staged the work for generally regular dayshifts. 

Traffic in all directions is being accommodated; however, lanes are reduced to single lanes in some areas. In order to accommodate peak travel periods, drivers are required to slow to 60km/h rather than the 30km/h that will be in place for other times. When the cross over is built, it is expected that drivers will be required to slow to 30km/h at all times. In the first few days of the project it seems that drivers are slowing even more than expected in order to look at the work occurring, so the City anticipates this regulating shortly. Transportation is helping look at where we can do 60km/h.

Construction and signage is in place with as much advance notice as possible.  

With University Bridge closing on Sunday, it is expected that traffic congestion will increase on some major roads and detour routes in our City. As part of our yearly bridge and overpass inspection program, both the University Bridge rehabilitation project and the Highway 11 & 16 cloverleaf were identified as needing immediate repairs, so the City did not have an option to delay this project. That said, the City has been working to minimize the impact to drivers as much as possible by being cognizant of projects on major routes and on planned detour routes associated with the University Bridge Closure.

This project was launched in a news conference and on the City’s website a few weeks ago as part of the overview of this year’s construction season. Updates have also been included with the Daily Road Reports, which include general project details and timelines. Communications also issues Traffic Detour Service Alerts for major road restrictions and will continue to issue them as necessary and if details and timelines change.

Updates are also being made to the City’s website to include further project details and frequently asked questions. Visit saskatoon.ca/betterroads for more information.

In addition here are the changes the transportation group is making to the detour

  • Zipper merge signage is being installed for EB traffic to reduce queuing and make the merge safer and more efficient
  • 30 kph signage will be removed to help traffic flow more smoothly – note that there may be times when workers are right adjacent to the travel lanes that they may need to erect the 30 kph signage
  • Advance message board will be placed for EB traffic prior to Preston Avenue – notice may be something like “construction ahead; expect delays”

  
Could this project have been completed before or after the University Bridge Rehabilitation project?

No. The City undergoes a yearly bridge and overpass inspection program, whereby both the Highway 16 and Highway 11 overpass project and the University Bridge project were identified as needing immediate repairs.

That said, the City has been working to minimize the impact to drivers as much as possible by being cognizant of projects on major routes and on planned detour routes associated with the University Bridge Closure.

What type of impact will this project have on drivers?

Drivers must slow to 30km/h in all construction zones. Traffic in all directions will be accommodated; however, lanes will be reduced to single lanes in some areas. If at any point the contractors are not performing work and there are no hazards in the areas the speed will increase to 60km/h and drivers will be notified through signage.

What type of signage will be in place re-directing drivers?

Typical construction signage is in place advising drivers of the lane reductions. Signage is in place in advance of the work to provide notice to drivers.

  

2.  NEIGHBOURHOOD SWEEP UPDATE

 

Accelerated City-wide Street Sweeping begins Monday, May 4, weather dependent, and will continue for approximately 6 weeks. The high visibility yellow sandwich boards will be put out by crews starting Thursday, April 30, and throughout the weekend.  All vehicles in violation will receive a $100 ticket (no reduction) and tow. To locate towed vehicles the Find-my-Vehicle process will be used again.

 

3.  ROAD REPAIRS

 The City of Saskatoon today announced the major road and infrastructure projects that will lead the 2015 construction season. This is the second year of an aggressive ongoing strategy to improve the condition, safety and longevity of Saskatoon’s road network.

“With the increased budget in 2014, significant progress was made but we know more work is required to ensure our public infrastructure meets the needs of residents,” says Mike Gutek, Director of Major Projects. “This year, approximately $26.9 million will be invested in road and sidewalk rehabilitation alone. This is $1.7 million more than last year and we expect residents will again see evidence of that investment.

In 2015, 196 lane kilometres of road will be rehabilitated, ranging from high traffic roads to residential streets. That’s the same distance as from here to Emma Lake, and augments the more than 200 kilometres of roadway rehabilitated last year.

Among the major roadway projects planned this year are the 22nd Street and Circle Drive interchange, Circle Drive eastbound lanes from 33rd Street to Avenue C, parts of Wanuskewin Road, Lorne Avenue, Taylor Street and 3rd Avenue Downtown.

Although road repairs will again be the centrepiece of efforts this year, significant investments will also be made in building and developing infrastructure for Saskatoon’s new neighbourhoods and in rehabilitating almost 14 kilometres of water, storm and sewer mains.

Repairs will be made to the University Bridge as well as the Highway 11 & 16 Cloverleaf Bridge and streetscaping work will continue along 20th Street West. 

The City will focus on completing quality work, safely and efficiently, with the least disruption possible this construction season. Weekend and night work will continue to be considered on projects where it makes sense. These efficiencies will allow the work to be completed timely and effectively, while reducing the impact on road users, residents and businesses.

“As we head into another busy season of road work and traffic detours we’re appealing to drivers to slow down, pay attention and respect work zones,” says Gutek. “We care about the safety of our employees, and the travelling public.”

 There are a number of tools available for residents to plan ahead and avoid traffic congestion. Visit saskatoon.ca/betterroads and check the Road Restrictions and Construction Projects mapto plan your route around road work. You can also find traffic detour information on the City’s  website and by following us on Twitter @YXEServiceAlert and with #betterroadsYXE.

A full list of 2015 Road Preservation and Rehabilitation projects is also available at saskatoon.ca/betterroads.

Tiffany Paulsen

City Councillor – Ward 9

(306) 955-0563 – phone

(306) 955-0567 – fax

222 3rd Avenue North

Saskatoon, SASK

S7K 0J5

 tiffany.paulsen@saskatoon.ca

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