Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Circle Drive South Project Update: August 24, 2011

Crews have finished installing all the girders for the new Circle Drive South Bridge deck on the west side. They are now working on installing the pedestrian walkway, which is suspended under the vehicle bridge overhead. In September, crews will start removing the earth berm in the river on the west side, and after the material is removed, they will move to the east side of the river, where they will do the same process: create an earth berm in the river, then start construction of the bridge piers and installation of bridge girders. This work will continue through the winter.

Below: Views of a storm pipe sewer boring machine.

Another big project coming up very soon is the Preston Avenue South detour. Crews are finishing up construction of the detour roads around the intersection of Preston Avenue and Circle Drive South, as that intersection will be closed by mid September to allow crews to work on the new overpass. This detour will be in place for approximately one year.

This week, crews will be doing a very interesting manoeuvre: they will be tunnelling under part of Lorne Avenue South and the railway line to install storm water pipes which are part of the Stonebridge Trunk Storm Sewer. We are unable to close the intersection of Lorne and Melville, as this is a detour road for the Lorne Avenue closure—so crews will tunnel under it to install the pipes.

A boring machine, looking very much like a space capsule, will lead the way, with a person inside operating the controls and making a tunnel. The pipe sections are then pushed behind the boring machine. At the end of the tunnel, a hole will be excavated and the capsule lifted out of the ground. The new Stonebridge Trunk Storm Sewer empties out at the river and goes back to Lorne Avenue, and then will be extended to join the existing Trunk on Melville Street. Concrete was poured in mid August for the abutments (sides) on the new Lorne Avenue interchange (overpass).

Motorists on Circle Drive South, where it turns into the Idylwyld Freeway (by Lorne Avenue), experienced a few road crossovers during the summer, as crews worked on one side and then the other, installing overhead girders of the new Idylwyld overpass.

In the northwest area of the project, a very large concrete pour took place in mid August for the top deck of the new CN/CP overpass structure north of 11th Street. In the next week or so, crews hope to have the intersection of the new 11th Street and Circle Drive open to traffic. Motorists will be able to drive on the new road that extends north of the existing 11th Street. 11th Street will still remain open, but won’t have direct access to Circle Drive. Speaking of 11th Street, two new web cams were installed at that location, so people can view construction progress of the railway overpass and the vehicle overpass.

The new Valley Road detour will be open very soon. It will take motorists down the new Landfill Access Road (which is south of Valley Road), as crews work on the new Valley Road interchange. This detour will be in place for one year.

Our Circle Drive South Project hotline is always open for recent updates and detours at 1-888-851-5303. Or check out the shots on the live web cam at Diefenbaker Park, facing west across the river to focus on bridge work, as well as two new cameras showing the 11th Street work. This is Saskatoon’s most massive infrastructure project, involving a new south bridge, five interchanges, three railway grade separations, and ten kilometres of freeway. The project will be open by September 30, 2012.

Project Update: August 19, 2011

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