SASKATOON -- The City of Saskatoon announced its plans for summer construction, and they’ll come with an approximate price tag of $65.5 million.

General manager of Transportation and Construction Terry Schmidt says water mains will be at the top of the list, with 23 kilometres of water and sewer mains will be replaced or rehabilitated this year, while 820 water and sewer service connections are being replaced.

The neighbourhoods of Nutana East, Nutana West, Caswell Hill, 20th Street West, Montgomery, Riversdale and Ruth Street East will be affected by this construction.

“We’ll be in several neighbourhoods to replace water mains that, in many cases, are more than 100 years old and have lead water service connections,” said Schmidt. “Our goal is to replace all outdated service connections in the city by 2026.”

For 2021, 165 lane kilometres of road construction are on tap, with the biggest projects including the resurfacing of the eastbound lanes of College Drive from Central Avenue to the City limits, rehabilitating the overpass at Circle Drive and 8th Street, and resurfacing 8th Street from Broadway Avenue to Lorne Avenue.

Schmidt says despite a deficit in the city’s budget, all projects will be going ahead.

“There was no impact to the delivery of the capital projects due to some of the deficits,” he said. “With assistance from other orders of government we've been able to proceed.”

Schmidt says projects will be staggered throughout the summer to minimize the impacts on drivers.

“We do work with the contractors on phasing the projects, and we also do look at when we're putting in the construction detours and the construction siding,” he said.

“The contractors do have control of their schedules and their plans, but we definitely do work with them when trying to phase those into such a way as to take into consideration the impact that will have on residents.”

Construction season in Saskatoon also means the return of the zipper merge, which Schmidt says should facilitate a safe and efficient flow of traffic.

“We just asked that traffic use both lanes and as they approach the merge into one lane they follow the signage, so it is just people take turns merging into the through lanes.”