Saskatoon

Saskatoon could be getting new pedestrian bridge

A document reveals that the city of Saskatoon is exploring getting a new bridge -- and it's not a traffic bridge they're looking at, it's a pedestrian bridge.

City exploring feasibility of building pedestrian bridge near Lawson Heights

The City of Saskatoon is considering building a pedestrian bridge across the South Saskatchewan River. (Kathy Fitzpatrick/CBC)

The city of Saskatoon is putting a call out for engineering companies to send in concept designs for a pedestrian bridge that would connect Lawson Heights to the city's north-east suburbs.

The City says its request for both cost estimates and the style of bridge is a "feasibility study." The bridge, which would likely be designed for pedestrians and cyclists, would be built in connection to a sewer crossing that needs to be built by 2021.

A conceptual profile of a utility bridge was first drawn in the 2015 City of Saskatoon Sanitary River Crossing Feasibility Study (City of Saskatoon Sanitary River Crossing Feasibility Study)

The new sewer pipes were first pitched in a 2015 report that found a pipeline bored under the river was the best route. The City then started exploring the pedestrian element, wrote Angela Gardiner, acting general manager of the City's transportation and construction department, in an email.

The whole purpose for building the bridge would be to carry wastewater from any new developments in the city's northeast to the water treatment plant.

The sewer would be mostly carrying gray water — water from sinks and baths — and about five per cent sewage, said Mark Rogstad with the city.

There are currently sewer pipes running underneath the University and Sid Buckwold Bridges.

The sewer crossing is the priority, so a pedestrian bridge might not come until later, but "we want to identify if there's an opportunity to coordinate the infrastructure, or at least provide flexibility to do so in the future," Gardiner wrote.

The bounds of the river crossing were proposed back in 2015. (City of Saskatoon Sanitary River Crossing Feasibility Study )

"The proposed location is roughly halfway between existing bridges (Circle Drive and Chief Mistawasis), which makes it an attractive site to add a connection for cyclists and pedestrians," said the City's request for proposals.

It states that the walkway in the concept design must be at least five metres wide.

The options are suspension, cable or girder-supported bridges. The bridge would need to carry two sewer pipes.

“The proposed location is roughly halfway between existing bridges (Circle Drive and Chief Mistawasis), which makes it an attractive site to add a connection for cyclists and Pedestrians,” the city's request for submissions says. (Graham Construction)

"The remaining analysis will focus on the best and lowest cost style of bridge," the request says.

If it goes ahead, this would be Saskatoon's first-ever pedestrian-only bridge.

"It must be stressed this is very preliminary work to see *if* something like this would even work," Gardiner wrote.

The concept design submissions are due on Feb. 27.