TRAFFIC BRIDGE UPDATE
Please join us in Council Chambers on December 6 at 6:00 pm for some UNFINISHED BUSINESS re: our historic founding Traffic Bridge.
Based on time running out at the last Council meeting, City Council has placed the Traffic Bridge issue as an Unfinished Business item (the first agenda item) to be dealt with on their December 6 City Council Agenda.
We will be asking City Council to take a practical, affordable and values-based approach. No one wants to see an ol’ rusted bridge.
The Heritage Society supports making the best choice – a choice that is the most affordable (according to the engineers themselves), the most safe, and most respects the true heritage value of this historic site specific landmark in the heart of our City.
Rehabilitating our historic bridge provides for all of the above. It’s a win, win, win.
Our Traffic Bridge is currently a local landmark – regardless of your feelings about its functionality. The results of the Open House and on-line surveys point to the importance of this landmark’s heritage legacy continuing. Only by rehabilitating the bridge can we lay claim to this.
Imagine our Traffic Bridge rehabilitated as a valued national heritage legacy that stands the test of time. Imagine telling the story of this bridge for generations to come - about how our city was founded by the Traffic Bridge. The deal maker that linked the communities of Nutana, Saskatoon and Riversdale together to form the City of Saskatoon over one hundred years ago; the first approval to be made by the legislators of the newly formed Province of Saskatchewan. How cool is that?!
Dear SHS Members There is one issue of primary importance for our Society right now. Our dear founding bridge, the Traffic Bridge, is at risk of being replaced with either a wider modern steel truss replica bridge or a new slab-style, concrete bridge. Each of these options (including the option of rehabilitating the existing bridge) will be built to the same 80 year standard. Each option is priced within the same range - between 24Mto 36M (with the rehabilitation choice being the least in that range). And, each option will use the existing piers since they are of good quality structurally.
At the Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee meeting held on November 3, 2010 we learned that City Council will be presented with the Engineering Study and complementary report on its heritage significance and designation potentials (as it has no official designation yet!) on November 22nd during its regular City Council meeting. Council will then be making a decision about which option they best prefer.
To date the public has been split opinion-wise about whether it is “worth” rehabilitating the bridge. And so… this is where we come in as the SHS. We are asking you, our members, for help in lending support to the rehabilitation option known as Option #1.
Please mark down the City Council Meeting date of November 22 in your calendar and consider doing one, two or all of the following actions+:
Imagine our city without it’s founding bridge?
I close sharing a paragraph from the Statement of Heritage Significance written by Ross Herringtion
M.A., M.Sc, P. Eng. for the Provincial Government Heritage Resources Branch in 2008:
The heritage value of the bridge lies in its status as a prominent feature of Saskatoon’s urban landscape and an important community landmark. This structure was the first vehicle bridge over the South Saskatchewan River within Saskatchewan and was the catalyst in the creation of the Saskatoon Board of Trade and Saskatoon itself. In 1905, the Town of Saskatoon proposed to the Villages of Nutana and Riversdale that the three communities amalgamate to become a city. Nutana ratepayers insisted that a traffic bridge across the river be built as soon as possible otherwise they saw no benefit to amalgamation. Funding of the bridge was approved at the first session of the provincial legislature in 1905 when Saskatchewan became a province. Without this bridge, the city of Saskatoon could not have developed as quickly as it did.
This is a great site for information on historic bridges and up-to-date engineering techniques used to rehabilitate bridges like our Traffic Bridge: www.historicbridges.org
The Saskatoon Heritage Society will occasionally provide information regarding community heritage issues they are advocating action for.