Plan to demolish second section of Traffic Bridge delayed
Plans to tear down a second section of the city's iconic Traffic Bridge will be delayed until the entire structure is demolished.
The executive committee on Monday voted to maintain the downtown side of the 105-year-old bridge after a report from city administration recommended that the span be kept intact.
From a cost-benefit perspective, demolition of the span - a $1 million endeavour - should wait, said Mike Gutek, the general manager of infrastructure services.
Although demolishing the downtown connector would reopen the pedestrian path and allow the city to build a $300,000 temporary walkway that would run underneath the bridge "there's already an existing pedestrian linkage and it's not that much out of the way," Gutek said.
The decision to delay demolition of a second span follows city council's vote last month to not only raze the Nutana side of the historic bridge but to also begin testing the link way's piers and to finish the bid forms for the replacement river crossing.
Gutek said the $925,000 project is moving forward and demolition of the Nutana side is slated to begin this fall. The city will either release a tender or a proposal for the removal of the span by July long weekend, he said.
There is currently no secured funding for the replacement bridge, which is estimated to cost up to $34-million.
Despite the unclear timeline, the public art component of the proposed bridge is already being discussed.
The executive committee on Monday voted to retain control over the public art component of the bridge replacement project rather than hand it over to the developer. The bridge played a "vital role" in Saskatoon's early history so the public art, which including benches, guardrails, lighting and paving, should reflect that, the report to the city read.