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Saskatoon News

Saskatoon city planners happy with perimeter highway review

Ministry of highways undertaking review after record growth rates in Saskatoon region
Reported by François Biber
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Premier Brad Wall’s promise for a priority on a perimeter highway for Saskatoon isn’t coming to light any time soon.

Currently the Ministry of Highways is going through a thorough validation study for the perimeter highway, and the proposed alignment sketched in 2000 and then confirmed in 2007.

“There's been a significant amount of growth in Saskatoon and the surrounding areas since then so what we're doing is working with the city, and stakeholders to look at the 2007 alignment to see if it’s appropriate,” Doug Wakabayashi, spokesperson for the Ministry of Highways, said.

The highway needs realignment, as many newer developments in Saskatoon are already butting heads with the current alignment.

“The city has grown up to it and it's no longer a perimeter, parts of the highway are now inside city limits so as a perimeter highway it doesn't meet the initial function,” Alan Wallace, director of planning and development with the City of Saskatoon, said.

“So we want highways to select a new route and find an appropriate route.”

The City of Saskatoon has already lobbied for changes to the proposed route in the city’s southeast corner. City planners are looking to amend the Rosewood concept plan to add in another 152 acres to the neighbourhood and about 1,200 more people.

“What we want to do with this amendment is we want to bring that into the neighbourhood concept plan but we couldn't do that until we got confirmation the perimeter highway would not be built there,” Wallace said, adding the ministry confirmed the highway would not cross there anymore.

“This is a desirable outcome for us because it allows us to bring forward an amendment to the Rosewood concept plan, incorporating that triangle orphaned for many years.”

Wallace hopes the ministry wraps up its validation study as the city plans to roll out a land-use map for its regional growth plan.

“We'd like to show where the perimeter route would be located and it's all in the regional sphere.”

The perimeter highway is estimated to cost $2 billion dollars.

fbiber@rawlco.com

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