City of Saskatoon administration plans to prioritize planning for overpasses at the Preston Avenue, 11th Street West and Marquis Drive railway crossings.

“Grade separations would provide the benefits of savings to travel time, improved safety, avoided emissions, and reduced vehicle operating costs,” says a report to City Council by engineering manager David LeBoutillier.

The three projects would carry a total estimated cost of $93.3 million.

Six other crossings are not as ideal for either overpasses or underpasses due to potential impacts on adjacent private property and development and are not recommended for further development, the report says.

Concerns include permanent loss of access to the arterial street and significant business disruption during a minimum of two years of construction.

Underpasses generally present significant concerns for storm water management and crime prevention, while overpasses would physically separate neighbourhoods, be visually unpleasant, and may be taller than adjacent properties, the report says

Another proposal to cut down on headaches for drivers was a shared rail corridor used by CN and CP that could have potentially cut down on the number of rail crossings in the city.

However, CN and CP rail did not express interest in a shared corridor concept for operations adjacent to and through the city, the report says.