The City of Saskatoon’s Circle Drive South project is nearing completion and mayor Don Atchison says the project is important for the city as it continues to grow.
“It’s really an exciting project,” said Atchison. “It really brings the city together, that’s what it’s all about, transportation is one end of it, but the real benefit of it is going to be the cultural shift in the community.”
The Circle Drive South project commenced in May of 2010 with the province and federal government both committing $86.5 million and the city of Saskatoon covering the remaining $70 million of the $243 million dollar project.
The federal government say the project will play an important part in international trade in the province as former minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, Stockwell Day, explained in a 2010 press release, “The completion of Circle Drive will help Saskatchewan shippers participate fully in the international trade that is so important to the economic prosperity of this region.”
Atchison agrees with Minister Day noting the completed Circle Drive will take semis used for international shipping out of the downtown and onto the new route.
“We talk about having a smart-city, well this is all part of it, no longer will you have semis rolling down 22nd street, Idylwyld, they should all be able to circle around on the perimeter of the city,” he said.
The new route will also provide easy access for semis to railways located in the city.
“Circle Drive South will enable truck traffic to get good access to CN and the railway,” said Doug Drever, project director for Circle Drive South project, noting the route would also enable semis to travel around the city at parts where you had to go right through the city prior.
Drever said the majority of the project will be operational by late October, with the route becoming fully operational in late November.