The Martensville and Warman overpass project is coming along as planned and is now 60 per cent complete. One of two southbound lanes on the new section of Highway 12 at Martensville officially opened to traffic last week and, according to the general contractor, a northbound lane should be ready to use by the August long weekend.
While there remains a lot of work to do at both sites, a main priority at Martensville is to open the overpass bridge to traffic and complete the southbound on-ramp as soon as possible.
Peter Kiewit Construction is the general contractor and during a tour of the Martensville site on July 17, project manager Andrew Schumacher said the southbound on-ramp should be completed and ready to use by early September.
“The concept this year is to open up the bridge and the southbound loop ramp to make sure that motorists are getting to the city of Saskatoon going southbound, and no longer have to cross the existing freeways,” Schumacher said.
He added there will temporarily be one lane for traffic when the overpass bridge opens.
In the meantime, there will be some inconvenience to motorists in the city itself. Main Street access west from Centennial Drive to the highway will be closed starting August 7 until the end of the month.
Even though the Main Street intersection will be closed for a few weeks, it will allow construction crews to finish that section of the project earlier than originally planned.
“I think residents appreciate that, although it’s a month fully closed for Main Street access, it provides that timeline proficiency that you can have it (access to the overpass bridge) potentially opened in the fall of this year versus the spring of 2019,” said Martensville Mayor Kent Muench.
During that closure, Schumacher mentioned there will be detour provisions in place and is excited to finish that last piece, so the bridge can open.
Between now and the end of the year, Schumacher said lanes on the new northbound and southbound sections of Highway 12 will progressively open up, allowing construction crews to wrap up the rest of the overpass.
“Motorists will be going onto the new infrastructure on many of the lanes in 2018. And that will allow us to finish all the other off ramps and on ramps and make sure the drainage and the top soil is working as well,” Schumacher said.
So far the project has been on schedule – maybe ahead of schedule for certain parts – and Schumacher said that’s because they have had great communication with all parties involved.
“On this job we’ve worked very closely with the City of Martensville, the RM of Corman Park, City of Warman and the ministry (of highways) very regularly, to make sure that we have the right plan. And when you have the right plan, things generally go well,” he said.
The scheduled completion date for the entire project is the summer of 2019.
Seeing traffic use the new infrastructure is definitely a positive and, once completed, Muench said it will improve safety for motorists.
“Accessing the highway – and safely onto the highway – is important, and this investment by the province is a huge commitment to the city and the growth we’re experiencing,” he said.