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About the Saskatoon Freeway Project

When fully developed, the Saskatoon Freeway will provide a high-speed, free-flow bypass route around Saskatoon, as well as a commuter route for surrounding communities. This general location study was done to determine future routes for the west and southeast Saskatoon Freeway. More than 400 people attended the two public information sessions, which were held in June 25, 2015 and November 19, 2015.

Key Benefits

  • Improve safety;
  • Reduce congestion in and around Saskatoon; and
  • Increase efficiency for Saskatchewan producers, shippers and truckers moving goods to market.

As part of the planning process, a general location must be established, which will allow for less land to be protected. Future planning studies will help to determine appropriate access points and the detailed design stage will determine land requirements. Full presentation

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1. Project Overview

While working to develop alignment options, it was important to review the large study area for restrictions, including:

  • Existing and future developments;
  • Heritage;
  • Environmental and wildlife habitat concerns;
  • Railway lines;
  • Utility corridors; and
  • Local geography.

Stakeholder and public engagement involved discussions with a number of key stakeholders:

  • Saskatoon Trucking Association;
  • First Nations communities;
  • Planning for Growth;
  • Utilities;
  • Railways;
  • Developers; and
  • Landowners impacted by the study area.

A route has been selected for the north section of the Saskatoon Freeway.

View the recommended alignments
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2. Stakeholder and Public Consultation

Stakeholder and public input is critical to the planning process. Face-to-face meetings and public open houses have been held previously to provide information about the project and gather input for the future freeway.

At the first public open house on June 25, 2015, a number of alignment options were presented for the southeast and west quadrants. Following the June information session, an internal benefit/cost analysis was conducted to determine if the southwest connection was required. The Saskatoon Regional Travel Demand Model (TDM) was used to analyze and compare three possible alignment options: Grasswood Road, Baker Road and Victor Road. Overall, the analysis showed negative benefits for routes further away from the city due to significantly increased cost and decreased use. The decision was made to exclude the southwest connection from Highway 7 to Highway 219 from further study.

On November 19, 2015, a second public information session was held with the three alignments shown in the southeast and the west, and noting that the southwest zone was excluded from the study. There were concerns about the uncertainty and development restrictions; and there was shared consensus for the removal of the southwest segment, between Highway 7 and Highway 11, from further study.

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3. History

  • Planning for the Saskatoon Freeway has been ongoing since the mid 2000s.
  • The location of the north route (Perimeter Highway) was found to be in the ideal location.
  • As part of the general location study for the South Saskatoon Freeway, two public information sessions were held to gather public input on a number of alignment options for the south Saskatoon Freeway.
  • On June 25, 2015, a number of alignment options were presented for the southeast and west quadrants.
  • On November 19, 2015, a second public information session was held with the three alignments shown in the southeast and the west, and indicated the southwest zone would no longer be included in the study.
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4. Additional Information

General Location

The general location study takes place prior to the detailed to design phase and is used for future planning.

Southwest Route

This route isn’t practical based on current and projected traffic volumes, which do not warrant it. The public also expressed concerns about a route through the study area. A review of route options further south of Victor Road may be required in the distant future.

Project Engineers

The Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure retained Associated Engineering in April 2015 to complete the general location study for the south portion of the Saskatoon Freeway.

Cost

No project costs can be established until future phases of planning.

Saskatoon Freeway Alignment 

The ministry has been studying the Saskatoon Freeway since the mid 2000s.  The alignment in the southeast was previously studied in 2005.

Preferred Alignment

Options have been developed based on the identified constraints and the functionality required for the freeway.  The Triple Bottom Line evaluation method is used to assess the options and determine the preferred routes, taking into consideration environmental, social and economic criteria.  The preferred option is the option with the highest overall score. A Saskatoon Regional Travel Demand Model was used to inform the decision in the southwest.  It’s a commonly recognized tool that forecasts travel for an area by utilizing: population and economic growth indicators, existing and future land use, travel characteristics and behaviors, and existing and future infrastructure information.

Development Restrictions

The southwest area is no longer impacted by the study, so there are no restrictions on development. The areas in the southeast and west will be protected along the recommended routes, with all other land being released from the study restrictions immediately. The R.M. of Corman Park Bylaws will still apply.

Land Acquisition

The ministry’s intention is to impact the fewest number of individuals/landowners. Our approach is to work with the people in the area to reach some common ground in order to proceed with the planning. While no land is currently being acquired, it may be in the future as phases of the freeway are constructed. Ministry land agents meet with landowners on an individual basis and offers are based on the principles of fair and reasonable compensation. A number of processes are in place to work with landowners to reach a mutually acceptable value, including independent appraisals and mediation.

Construction Timelines

Planning for the future Saskatoon Freeway will take many more years as part of the long-range planning process. Following the general location study, the detailed design stage will begin at some point in the future. Once the planning is complete, additional time is required to determine a construction strategy, costs and timeline.  Construction will take place as traffic volumes and development warrant, and may take place for many years and possibly decades. Keep in mind, the Saskatoon Freeway may be built in phases.  No timeline or project cost has been established for additional planning work or construction.

Consultations

Everyone has the chance to provide input through the online engagement process. You may also contact one of the following individuals for further information:

Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure: Bojana Eberts
Associated Engineering: Jon Medori

Landowners and other stakeholders who may be impacted are being contacted directly.  Saskatoon and the RM of Corman Park are represented on the study’s steering and advisory committees.

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