'Residents do tell me they avoid that stretch': Council asks for speed limit changes on Chief Mistawasis Bridge
The Chief Mistawasis Bridge is pictured in this file photo.
SASKATOON -- After growing frustrations over the various speed limits found on the roads and leading to and from the Chief Mistawasis Bridge, the city will consider increasing the speed limits to push more traffic on to the new bridge.
On Monday the city’s transportation committee reviewed a report looking at the traffic patterns on the bridge one year after the opening of the $211.4 million bridge.
The report showed the bridge has seen an average of 9,900 vehicles per day since it opened in October 2018 – less than the expected 14,000 to 21,000 vehicles per day.
Drivers are avoiding the new bridge because of the posted speed limits, Coun. Randy Donauer said.
“Residents do tell me they avoid that stretch,” he said. “I hear that regularly, ‘you make me go too slow.’”
However, Donauer said the bridge was built to accommodate future traffic as the city forecasts growth in the north and northeast stretches of Saskatoon.
“The reason we built this bridge isn’t just for the present. I asked for a release valve until the perimeter freeway is built and it’s doing that,” Donauer said.
“We will look like geniuses a generation from now.”
Coun. Bev Dubois put forth a motion asking the city’s administration to do a speed study in the area of the Mistawasis bridge. She asked if the administration can look at the possibility of changing the speed limits on the bridge and on the roads leading to and from the bridge. Dubois also asked if the city can report on the number of wildlife collisions in the area since the new bridge opened.
Coun. Zach Jefferies asked if the city would consider increasing speed limits in the area earmarked for Aspen Ridge, where there is no development.
“There’s got to be a better way to build a sense in our community that we’ve done it right and we have considerations in mind to make this easier to use,” Jefferies said.
Dubois’ motion passed unanimously.