SASKATOON -- Northbound traffic on Highway 11 is expected to change with the construction of a 55-kilometre freeway around Saskatoon.

The highways ministry is considering the idea of pushing Highway 11 traffic coming from the City of Warman down Wanuskewin Road and into Saskatoon city limits.

This would space out the interchanges on the freeway and accommodate increased traffic on Wanuskewin Road.

"When you look at Highway 11 and the number of people on Highway 11, the majority of approximately 23,000 vehicles a day are actually turning onto Wanuskewin Road from Highway 11 so that’s almost the natural flow," said Geoff Meinert, senior project manager for the Saskatoon Freeway.

In June the ministry held a design workshop and consultation session inviting members of Wanuskewin Heritage Park. Meinert said representatives from the park wanted to plan for increased traffic volumes on Wanuskewin Road and Penner Road, the main access point into the park.

"We are aware they are applying for UNESCO World Heritage status and there’s a number of requirements that they want and they anticipate higher traffic volumes from that designation because more people will come and visit," Meinert said.

"And so we’ve addressed what they want and are looking at putting a full access interchange at Penner Road, but we anticipate it’s better and safer access into their park."

The ministry doesn’t have a cost estimate for the project, but it’s planning for a freeway to accommodate a Saskatoon population of 750,000 and a regional population of 850,000 including Martensville, Warman and Corman Park. Ground isn’t expected to be broken for 10 to 15 years.

"It is projecting into the future. We know it will get there, it’s a matter of when," Meinert said.