Circle Drive South

Location: Saskatoon, SK

This multidisciplinary design-build project managed by Graham included the design and construction of a new 420-metre, six-lane bridge over the South Saskatchewan River; five interchanges; 9 kilometers of freeway; three railway grade separations; 3050-millimeter-diameter storm trunk drainage; sound attenuation walls; and utility relocation. The roadway consists of a four- to six-lane divided freeway and provisions for pedestrians and cyclists to cross and have access to recreational trails on both sides of the South Saskatchewan River.

The completed project now provides shorter commuting distances and a significant reduction of traffic on other commuter routes around the City. The project involved storm trunks, earthworks and grading, construction of piles and piers, retaining walls, new CN–CP exchange track over the Circle Drive structure, paving, interchange deck construction, abutments, girder installation, construction and removal of cofferdams, (the means and method of construction of the cofferdam and girder erection is explained for this project above) construction of multiuse pathways, street lighting, traffic signals, signing, fencing, and landscaping. This project required 21,000 cubic meters of concrete, 120,000 tonnes of asphalt pavement, 17,000 meters of piling, 3,400 meters of concrete girders, and 43,000 tonnes of steel girders. Graham implemented an approach to the completion of the bridge over the South Saskatchewan River by constructing a river berm and protecting the berm from high waters. Once the berm was constructed, we were able to excavate and build the footings and center piers in the dry allowing water to be controlled and minimizing the influx of water into the footings. Graham completed the substructure work mainly during the winter seasons. For the superstructure, we installed the steel girders and precast decks from the berm and during the summer months cast the bridge deck. The berm was then taken out during low flow times and re-installed on the opposite side of the riverbank. By performing the work in this manner, we were able to remove the bridge structure from the critical path of the project.

All environmentally sensitive work within the South Saskatchewan River and the river valley was completed under an ECO plan developed by Graham, aligned with the strict environmental requirements under the project agreement and under permits obtained by the Graham team working with the DFO and all other Authorities having Jurisdiction. In addition, the construction of the river crossing and outfall structures required that aquatic habitats be taken into consideration for which Graham installed remedial aquatic areas. Extensive traffic management plans were also need for the three different project sites during the construction of the 9km stretch four- and six-lane divided highway. Multiphase roadway detours were put in place through the construction corridor and involved temporary lane, ramp and road closures where required and detours were constructed to accommodate bridge construction allowing the continuous movement of traffic. This project was selected as a reference project as it highlights the leadership of Graham to manage a multidisciplinary project delivered successfully in an urban environment involving the complex construction of a major bridge over water that required geotechnical monitoring, girder erection, pile wall construction, deep drilled cast-in-place concrete foundations, cofferdam construction, and traffic accommodation.

Contract Value


Prime Consultant

Stantec Consulting Ltd.

Project Owner

City of Saskatoon

Contract Format


Completion Date

July 2013

Contract Duration

39 months