Circle Drive South Opens
Thousands of local residents turned out for the opening of Circle Drive South on the last day of July. A parade of pedestrians and bicycles were the first across the new Circle Drive South Bridge, part of the new $214 million design-build project built by Flatiron and joint venture partner Graham. Later that evening, the bridge opened to traffic, marking the official completion of the ring road around Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – an event that’s been 100 years in the making.
The ring road was first conceived by the Saskatoon city commissioner in 1913, and the first portions of the road – the northwest and southeast segments – were constructed in the 1960s; the completion of the route around the city has been a long time coming.
Circle Drive South is the first design-build transportation project in Saskatoon. In addition to the Circle Drive South Bridge, a six-lane bridge with a wide pedestrian pathway, Graham-Flatiron also constructed five new interchanges, three railway grade separations, seven additional kilometers (4.3 miles) of freeway and sound walls. The now complete Circle Drive is expected to shorten commutes by 35 percent for approximately 30,000 commuters in Saskatoon.
The project was scheduled to open last year, but was delayed due to the unusually wet weather and ground conditions in 2011 and 2012. Graham Construction was the managing joint venture partner on the Circle Drive South project, and Flatiron was the minority joint venture partner. Most of the crew demobilized last winter, and a small Graham crew returned to complete final paving work to open the bridge this summer.