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Manitoba enjoying spurt of transportation projects

Transit and transportation construction is firing on all cylinders in Manitoba.The province's Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation, Steve Ashton, released an interim 2014 construction tendering schedule on November 20, noting record...


Transit and transportation construction is firing on all cylinders in Manitoba.The province’s Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation, Steve Ashton, released an interim 2014 construction tendering schedule on November 20, noting record investment in core infrastructure in 2014-15. The province is using new revenue from a 1-cent-on-the-dollar increase in provincial sales tax devoted. The increase is for building core infrastructure such as highways and bridges, flood protection and municipal road and water systems.

In the past few weeks the province has announced several major new projects. On November 26, for example, the government announced a $200-million, five-year plan to start rebuilding the southwest quadrant of Winnipeg’s Perimeter Highway. Built in 1955, the two-lane divided highway circles 90 kilometres around Winnipeg. Its southern portion is Highway 100, part of the Trans Canada Highway. The province will reconstruct the Perimeter Road from the Trans-Canada Highway to Brady Road, and build a new diamond interchange at McGillivray Boulevard/PTH 3.

A few days before, on November 22, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger attended the official completion of Centreport Canada Way, a new $212-million expressway connecting the Perimeter Highway to the city’s vast “inland port.” Known as Centreport Canada, this new tri-modal transportation hub integrates three railways, trucking facilities and the James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.

A week earlier on November 19, the province and the city of Winnipeg said they would each provide $225 million to fund phase 2 of the rapid bus transitway to Southwest Winnipeg. They are hoping that the federal government will fund the balance. Phase 1 of the transitway is complete and won a 2013 Canadian Consulting Engineering award for Dillon Consulting (click here to see the article.)

Stage 2 will extend the rapid transit line by 7 kilometres from Pembina Highway and Jubilee Avenue to southwest Winnipeg. City council has already adopted an alignment that partially uses a Manitoba Hydro transmission corridor and now a large team headed by Dillon Consulting and including AECOM, Landmark Planning & Design and McGowan Russell Group, is doing a functional design study. The study includes preliminary transitway design, overpasses and underpasses, preliminary station design, environmental assessment, public engagement and cost estimates. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2019.

Among other highway projects announced by the province is a $67-million facelift for Highway 10 in western Manitoba that connects to the U.S. border.