Circle Drive South Bridge
|Gordie Howe Bridge|
Circle Drive South Bridge under construction (2012)
|Carries||6 lanes of Circle Drive|
|Crosses||South Saskatchewan River|
|Locale||Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada|
|Official name||Gordie Howe Bridge|
|Maintained by||City of Saskatoon|
|Preceded by||Grand Trunk Bridge|
|Followed by||Senator Sid Buckwold Bridge|
|Material||Reinforced concrete, steel|
|Total length||440 metres (1,440 ft)|
|Piers in water||6|
|Construction begin||March 29, 2010|
|Opened||July 31, 2013|
Gordie Howe Bridge is a vehicular freeway bridge that spans the South Saskatchewan River in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. It is a steel girder bridge, built as part of the Circle Drive freeway system in southwestern Saskatoon. At the time of construction, it was projected to cost $272.5 million to build. It is the southern-most road bridge in the city, and the most recent to be built. The bridge is located adjacent to the Grand Trunk Bridge. It is also the longest of Saskatoon's bridges at 440 metres (1,440 ft) in length, and the first to have a concrete road surface. The bridge was scheduled to open with the completion of the entire Circle Drive South project on September 30, 2012. However, record rainfall, high water tables and an early snowfall made that deadline unfeasible.  The actual completion and opening date was July 31, 2013.
The bridge has not been given an official long-term name. The Holiday Park community association is lobbying Saskatoon City Council to have the bridge named after Christopher J. Yorath, the city's first commissioner. Yorath created a comprehensive town plan in 1913, which included inner and outer "encircling boulevards". Parts of the present-day Circle Drive follows the course in Yorath's plan. Yorath Island, also named for the commissioner, is located upstream from the bridge site. The city council decided that a naming contest would be held after the city's naming committee recommended that the name "Circle Drive South Bridge" be kept in the short term. On June 27, 2016, Saskatoon city council unanimously voted in favour of naming the bridge after late hockey legend Gordie Howe.
The city and the contractor, Graham-Flatiron, disputed over money owed after the project was completed. The city withheld $1.53 million for the delayed completion, as the contract permitted for fines of $10,000 per day late. Graham-Flatiron countered that the city caused the delays because it was too slow with environmental audits, design reviews and approvals, and the handover of land. It claimed the city owed them $19 million in unpaid invoices. The case went to arbitration in April 2015.
- "Circle Drive South Project". City of Saskatoon. Retrieved 2011-02-05.
- Hutton, David (2012-10-01). "Circle Drive south opening uncertain". The StarPhoenix (Postmedia Network). Retrieved 2012-10-01.
- Giles, David (2012-11-02). "South bridge likely not to be completed this year: Atchison". Global Saskatoon. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
- Hill, Angela (2012-11-09). "End of July before Circle Drive South Bridge is done". News Talk 650 CKOM (Rawlco Communications). Retrieved 2012-11-09.
- "Bridge opens today". CBC News. 2013-07-31. Retrieved 2013-07-31.
- Hutton, David (2011-02-05). "Group lobbies name for new bridge". The StarPhoenix. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2011-02-05.
- Hamilton, Charles (2013-06-11). "City to hold bridge naming contest". The StarPhoenix (Postmedia Network). Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- French, Janet (2015-03-14). "Bridge builders claim city owes $19M". The StarPhoenix. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2015-04-21.
- Spray, Hannah; French, Janet (2015-04-21). "Circle Drive South dispute heads to arbitration". The StarPhoenix. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2015-04-21.