Gordie Howe Bridge (Saskatoon)

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Gordie Howe Bridge
Gordie Howe Bridge Saskatoon.jpg
Gordie Howe Bridge (2019)
Coordinates52°05′51″N 106°41′43″W / 52.09750°N 106.69528°W / 52.09750; -106.69528Coordinates: 52°05′51″N 106°41′43″W / 52.09750°N 106.69528°W / 52.09750; -106.69528
Carries6 lanes of Circle Drive
CrossesSouth Saskatchewan River
LocaleSaskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Official nameGordie Howe Bridge
Named forGordie Howe
Maintained byCity of Saskatoon
Preceded byGrand Trunk Bridge
Followed bySenator Sid Buckwold Bridge
DesignGirder bridge
MaterialReinforced concrete, steel
Total length440 metres (1,440 ft)
Piers in water6
Constructed byGraham-Flatiron
Construction startMarch 29, 2010
OpenedJuly 31, 2013

The 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.[1] 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.[2][3] The actual completion and opening date was July 31, 2013.[4][5]


The bridge was first referred to simply as the Circle Drive South Bridge. The Holiday Park community association lobbied 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.[6] Yorath Island, also named for the commissioner, is located upstream from the bridge site. The city council originally decided that a naming contest would be held[7] but then scrapped the idea because of the cost.[8] On June 27, 2016, Saskatoon city council unanimously voted in favour of naming the bridge after recently deceased hockey legend Gordie Howe. Signs with the new name were installed on September 22, 2016.[9]

Legal disputes[edit]

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.[10] The case went to arbitration in April 2015.[11] The city then filed suit against an engineering firm, Stantec, over delays encountered during the project.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Circle Drive South Project". City of Saskatoon. Archived from the original on 2010-11-15. Retrieved 2011-02-05.
  2. ^ Hutton, David (2012-10-01). "Circle Drive south opening uncertain". The StarPhoenix. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
  3. ^ Giles, David (2012-11-02). "South bridge likely not to be completed this year: Atchison". Global Saskatoon. Retrieved 2012-11-02.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Bridge opens today". CBC News. 2013-07-31. Retrieved 2013-07-31.
  6. ^ Hutton, David (2011-02-05). "Group lobbies name for new bridge". The StarPhoenix. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2011-02-05.
  7. ^ Hamilton, Charles (2013-06-11). "City to hold bridge naming contest". The StarPhoenix. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
  8. ^ Winiewski, Wendy (2014-10-07). "City defers $30K contest to name Saskatoon's newest bridge". Global News. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  9. ^ "'Gordie Howe Bridge' sign up on Saskatoon's Circle Drive South bridge". CBC News. 2016-09-22. Retrieved 2016-09-23.
  10. ^ French, Janet (2015-03-14). "Bridge builders claim city owes $19M". The StarPhoenix. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2015-04-21.
  11. ^ Spray, Hannah; French, Janet (2015-04-21). "Circle Drive South dispute heads to arbitration". The StarPhoenix. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2015-04-21.
  12. ^ "City of Saskatoon files claim against Stantec over Circle Drive bridge delay". CBC News. 2015-05-14. Retrieved 2016-09-23.

External links[edit]