Circle Drive Bridge
- For the southern Circle Drive river crossing in Saskatoon, see Circle Drive South Bridge.
|Circle Drive Bridge|
Circle Drive Bridge
|Carries||6 lanes of Circle Drive|
|Crosses||South Saskatchewan River|
|Locale||Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada|
|Official name||Circle Drive Bridge|
|Maintained by||City of Saskatoon|
|Material||Reinforced concrete, steel|
|Total length||275 metres (902 ft)|
|No. of spans||4|
|Piers in water||3|
|Opened||Jul 1, 1983
(widening completed September 28, 2007)
Circle Drive Bridge spans the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. It is a steel girder bridge, built in 1983 as part of the Circle Drive freeway system in northeast Saskatoon. At the time of construction, it cost $11.8 million to build. It is the northernmost bridge in the city.
As with other bridges in the city, locals use several different names for this bridge. During construction there was an unsuccessful campaign to have it named after recently deceased former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. Longtime Saskatonians also refer to it as the 42nd Street Bridge, a reference to a former name of the northern east-west leg of Circle Drive dating back to the 1960s; this name was also commonly applied to the bridge in media coverage and city council references to its planning and construction dating back to the early 1960s. In recent years, Saskatonians began referring to it as the Circle Drive North Bridge.
The Circle Drive Bridge is a twin-span bridge; it was designed so that more lanes could be added by filling in the centre. Early published plans for the bridge called for the addition of an observation deck/interpretive centre to the underside of the bridge at that point. However, rather than widening the bridge by filling in the centre gap, it was deemed to be more cost effective to convert the outside pedestrian walkways into driving lanes. In 2006, construction started on adding a third outside lane in both directions to increase capacity and ease congestion during peak traffic times. The lane additions were completed in 2007. A new pedestrian walkway was built below and between the two bridge structures, and opened in July 2007. The walkway was dedicated as the Stew Uzelman Pedway on October 31, 2009.
The bridge was the scene of a notable accident on 30 December 2013, when Breanna Pegg lost control of her car after hitting ice on the bridge. Her car went over built-up snow along the guard rail, which launched the vehicle up and over the side of the bridge. It crashed onto the frozen river below and started to sink through the broken ice. Pegg escaped the vehicle by kicking out the windshield, standing on top of the car and swimming to a nearby sheet of ice. She then pulled herself onto the ice before being assisted by police and a bystander. As a result of the accident, the city changed its policy regarding snow removal from bridges. The city was sued by Saskatchewan Government Insurance for the cost of the vehicle and its salvage.
- "City of Bridges" (PDF). City of Saskatoon. Retrieved 2010-04-20.
- Zacaruk, Jim; Mike Gutek (2008). "Circle Drive Widening" (PDF). Stantec Consulting/City of Saskatoon. Retrieved 2010-04-20.
- "Circle Drive Pedestrian Bridge Dedicated" (PDF). Currents. City of Saskatoon. 2009. p. 5. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
- Zakreski, Dan (2014-01-08). "Breanna Pegg feared she'd die after car plunged into river". CBC News. Retrieved 2015-06-29.
- "City of Saskatoon sued after Breanna Pegg's car drives off bridge". CBC News. 2014-12-19. Retrieved 2015-06-29.