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Evaluation Criteria

The Triple Bottom Line Method was used to rank options in a series of weighted evaluation criteria in three key areas: Environmental; Social; Economic.


1. Environmental Criteria

  • Impact on the natural environment (air, water, land and wildlife) – Infrastructure projects of this size can have a significant impact on the natural environment. Typical impacts include disruption of natural water drainage, reduction of air quality, and reduction of productive agricultural land.
  • Minimize impacts to agricultural land use – The land surrounding the project is on Saskatoon's rural/urban edge. A significant amount of farmland is included in the study area and there was a desire to minimize impacts on agricultural land. No consideration was given to the different type of farmland (cultivated land vs. land used for grazing) or ownership (private farmland vs. university land).

2. Social Criteria

  • Impact on adjacent landowners – The degree to which the corridor impacts the standard of living of adjacent landowners was assessed based on the number of impacted landowners. Densely developed areas were given more consideration than individual landowners. Impacts to commercial development were also considered.
  • Access - The Saskatoon Freeway will ultimately be a free-flow facility, with no at-grade access to surrounding property. However, surrounding property must have some form of access. This criterion is intended to capture the ability of each alternative to provide access from the freeway to property in the vicinity of each interchange via the crossing roadway.
  • Geometric compliance and safety – Certain safety and design standards must be addressed by the alignment options under consideration. Design criteria considered items such as location and spacing of future overpasses and intersection angles. Safety was assessed by comparing the number of conflict points on each alignment, as well as the relative complexity of the overpasses.

3. Economic Criteria

  • Lifecycle cost comparison capital & operational cost – In general terms, the route with the lowest lifecycle cost was given the highest score. Lifecycle cost consists of overall capital cost and operating and maintenance cost.
  • Facilitate and promote future regional economic growth and development – Each route option has different degrees of impact on these activities: travel time, directness, ease of access and other considerations. The City of Saskatoon and the RM of Corman Park have based future development plans on the previous alignment for the Saskatoon Freeway in the southeast area. Therefore, options with the least difference from the previous alignment received the most merit under this evaluation.
  • Efficient and effective bypass/truck route – The south route of the Saskatoon Freeway will serve as the main link between highways on the National Highway – Highways 7, 11 and 16 – as well as a bypass around the city for public and commercial traffic. Travel times for traffic with origins and destinations outside of the city using the proposed freeway were assessed in the evaluation.
  • Optimize existing and future regional road network – The freeway will provide an alternate route for commuters, especially for communities southeast and west of the city. This included how well the Saskatoon Freeway fits within the regional road network and contributes to the efficiency of travel routes.
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