Speculation that a new bridge will be built linking the University of Saskatchewan with the City Park or North Park neighbourhoods is premature, city officials said.

Councillor Darren Hill said he has heard rumours that's where a new core area bridge could go. But he and others at city hall said the need and location of such a bridge won't be determined before work is done on the city's integrated growth plan. 

Council has just approved a $1.5-million consultant's contract to complete the plan in the next couple of years.

The city is looking ahead to its transportation needs three decades into the future, when the population is expected to double to half a million people. The area inside Circle Drive alone could grow by roughly 60,000. Planners calculate that two to four more bridge lanes will be needed to move people in and out of downtown.

Councillor Charlie Clark welcomes the study on the question of building another core area bridge.

"The university bridge is a choke point for our transit system," he said. "So I believe one of the key elements of this is what's going to be into the future the best way to move people efficiently and effectively and conveniently on transit."

He said the needs of vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists also must be factored in.