25th Street Extension Opens to Provide Key Downtown Connection
Access to the City’s downtown and central business district is now easier for Saskatoon commuters. City officials this morning marked the completion of the 25th Street Extension Project. The roadway is expected to open to traffic by 3:00 p.m. today December 10, 2013.
“Easing traffic congestion is one of our top priorities,” says His Worship Mayor Donald Atchison at the opening event. “We have a strong and vibrant downtown and we need to get in and out efficiently. 25th Street is now a major connector that will improve traffic flow throughout the entire downtown area and encourage people to live, work and do business downtown.”
This extension will help to reduce traffic volumes on most east-west roadways in the downtown core and along 33rd Street. About 25,000 vehicles will be able to travel on this section of 25th Street each day, and with access to the City’s new Police Service Headquarters set to open in January, the extension will be well-used.
Mayor Atchison thanked CN Rail and CP Rail for their cooperation in making the project a reality. “Not only does the extension improve traffic flow, but the way 25th Street is now aligned provides a safe rail crossing which will minimize rail and vehicle conflicts, and that’s a major benefit for our citizens.”
In order to minimize traffic disruptions as much as possible, the massive job of extending 25th Street was completed in phases. Construction phases included rehabilitating existing parts of 25th Street, constructing new intersections at Idylwyld Drive and 1st Avenue and will include streetscaping to be completed in the spring of 2014.
“While we took measures to minimize traffic disruptions, we know that residents were inconvenienced with the construction and we sincerely thank everyone for their patience. With your cooperation, our crews were able to get the project completed as safely as possible,” says Chris Hallam, Director of Construction & Design.
The total cost of the project fluctuated as the project progressed due to increased construction costs which required post budget approvals. Most of the increases were a result of escalation costs from delays in construction due to the complexity of the project and the presence of contaminated soils requiring removal. In addition, railway upgrade costs were also higher than expected.
For more information on the 25th Street Extension please visit www.saskatoon.ca.
Here are some photos from the opening ceremony: