University Bridge (Saskatoon)

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University Bridge
University Bridge Saskatoon.jpg
University Bridge
Coordinates52°07′49″N 106°38′57″W / 52.13028°N 106.64917°W / 52.13028; -106.64917Coordinates: 52°07′49″N 106°38′57″W / 52.13028°N 106.64917°W / 52.13028; -106.64917
Carries4 lanes of College Drive/25th Street, pedestrians and bicycles
CrossesSouth Saskatchewan River
LocaleSaskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Official nameUniversity Bridge
Maintained byCity of Saskatoon
Preceded byBroadway Bridge
Followed byCPR Bridge
Characteristics
DesignOpen spandrel deck arch
MaterialReinforced concrete
Total length1,100 feet (335 m)
Width65 feet (20 m)
No. of spans10
Piers in water5
History
DesignerAdam P. Linton / Daniel Luten
Construction start1913-09-02
Construction end1916
Opened1916-11-15
University Bridge and downtown Saskatoon

University Bridge spans the South Saskatchewan River between Clarence Avenue and College Drive on the east shore with 25th Street on the west in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada. The bridge is also known as the 25th Street Bridge and is a major commuter route between the two halves of Saskatoon. Between its opening in 1916 and the opening of the Circle Drive Bridge in 1983, it was the northernmost vehicular river crossing in the city. It is named for the fact that it provides access to the University of Saskatchewan.

The University Bridge was originally planned to be of steel truss construction, much like the Traffic Bridge. Instead, a new design was used and Saskatoon saw the start of its first reinforced concrete arch bridge in 1913. Unfortunately the original contractor, R.J. Lecky, badly underbid on the tender, had problems with its concrete, and faced conflict of interest charges. One pier of the bridge had to be rebuilt and, due to the impact of the First World War on the global economy, the company went bankrupt and the provincial government had to finish building the bridge itself. When completed in 1916 it was the longest bridge of its kind in Canada.[1]

A number of urban legends have surrounded the bridge since its construction. One of the stories was that the original contractor mixed straw in with the concrete to save money. Another rumour said that a worker fell to his death into one of the forms when the bridge piers were being poured, and his remains lie entombed to the present day. While sensational, none of these stories are supported by actual evidence.[2]

University Bridge has undergone rehabilitation and repair work in 1972, 1985, 1998 and 2015.[3] With the closure and demolition of the original Traffic Bridge in 2016, the University Bridge became Saskatoon's oldest surviving vehicular bridge.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Herrington, Ross (2008-03-01). "Statement of Heritage Significance – University (25th Street) Bridge, Saskatoon" (PDF). Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
  2. ^ "History Quiz". At Work: Historical Images of Labour in Saskatchewan. University of Saskatchewan Archives. 2010. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
  3. ^ "University Bridge Project: Transportation Plan" (PDF). City of Saskatoon. Retrieved 2015-04-28.