Broadway Bridge (Saskatoon)

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Broadway Bridge
Saskatoon Skyline Night.jpg
Broadway Bridge over the South Saskatchewan River
Coordinates52°07′20″N 106°39′35″W / 52.12222°N 106.65972°W / 52.12222; -106.65972Coordinates: 52°07′20″N 106°39′35″W / 52.12222°N 106.65972°W / 52.12222; -106.65972
Carries4 lanes of Broadway Avenue/4th Avenue South
CrossesSouth Saskatchewan River
LocaleSaskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Official nameBroadway Bridge
Maintained byCity of Saskatoon
DesignOpen spandrel deck arch
MaterialReinforced concrete
Total length355.2 metres (1,165 ft)
Width13.7 metres (45 ft)
Height24 metres (79 ft)
Piers in water4
DesignerChalmers Jack (C. J.) MacKenzie
OpenedNovember 11, 1932

Broadway Bridge is an arch bridge that spans the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


Broadway Bridge under construction, 1931–1932

The bridge was constructed as a "make-work" project during the Great Depression. It was built in 1932 by the contractor R.J. Arrand Construction Co.[1] It was designed by Chalmers Jack (C. J.) MacKenzie (on leave from his post as Dean of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan). For this reason, the bridge was originally called The Dean's Bridge in its early period;[2] it was formally named the Broadway Bridge as it connects Broadway Avenue on the east shore with 19th Street and 4th Avenue in Saskatoon's downtown core. The city once considered changing the name to George V Bridge in honour of the King.[3]

Construction of the bridge employed 1,593 men, who worked in three shifts around the clock.[4] It is Saskatoon's steepest bridge, with a 4% grade,[5] and the tallest at 24 metres (79 ft) above the river.[6] The total cost at the time of construction was $850,000 CAD. In 1933, the streetcar lines of the Saskatoon Municipal Railway were re-routed from the Traffic Bridge to the Broadway Bridge.[5]

The year-long closure of the nearby Traffic Bridge in late 2005 greatly increased the amount of daily traffic crossing the bridge.[citation needed] The bridge was subsequently closed permanently, leaving the Broadway Bridge as a long-term alternate route until the replacement Traffic Bridge was opened in 2018.

In popular culture[edit]

The Broadway Bridge is mentioned in Joni Mitchell's song "Cherokee Louise" on the album Night Ride Home. Joni spent part of her childhood and teenage years in Saskatoon. The Bessborough Hotel, iconically associated with the Broadway Bridge, can be seen in a self-portrait by Mitchell on the cover of her Clouds album.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Herrington, Ross (2007-03-31). "Saskatchewan Road and Railway Bridges to 1950: Inventory". Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
  2. ^ "1932: Broadway Bridge opens, designed by Dean of Engineering". Deo et Patriae: Events in the History of the University of Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
  3. ^ "A View From Above – Key to Landmarks". Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
  4. ^ Ostrander, J.R.; Olive, D.C. (1987-01-29). "Construction of the Broadway Bridge at Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in 1932" (PDF). NRC Research Press. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
  5. ^ a b "The History of our Bridges". City of Saskatoon. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
  6. ^ Tank, Phil (2016-11-24). "Saskatoon's newest bridge rises in remote spot". The StarPhoenix. Retrieved 2016-11-24.

External links[edit]