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Manitoba 'Barely Treading Water' on Infrastructure

WINNIPEG — Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton announced the province's plan for infrastructure improvements going into 2013 today, pointing towards a focus on bridges and roads. Scroll down after the story to see the full list released today by the province.

More than 40 bridges will be repaired and upgraded, Aston said, as well as an "emphasis on the continued renewal of Manitoba’s core highway network with more than 1,160 km scheduled for upgrades."

While the announcement is an encouraging one for truckers, the Manitoba Trucking Association was quick to point out that much of what is on the government's to-do list are simply improvements to bring infrastructure up to code.

"While we are obviously pleased that the government is focusing its efforts on roads and bridges, the reality is that much of the work is simply rehabilitation projects on items that have been left to deteriorate for far too long,” explained MTA Executive Director Bob Dolyniuk in a statement today. “Rather than being able to spend time and money on new projects, a significant number of the projects, especially bridges, are requirements simply to bring infrastructure up to an acceptable standard."

As an example, Dolyniuck pointed to two overspasses on the Perimeter Highway. "Haven't these structures been properly maintained over the last number of decades?"

Dolyniuck said that because those structures haven't been maintained, "significant portions of this province’s infrastructure dollars are spent on repairs."

Ashton highlighted the government's ten year commitment to infrastructure, adding that they've completed many of the repairs needed on roads and bridges from last year's flood. He said that while the government has made "record investments" in roads and bridges, "there is more to do."

Still, though, Dolyniuck said that Manitoba is suffering from a significant infrastructure defict. "We aren’t making any progress in this province; we are barely treading water when it comes to infrastructure.”

Improvements/Repairs for 2013

Near Winnipeg:

starting a multi-year project to upgrade the Perimeter Highway near Brady Road,

rehabilitating the overpass on the Perimeter Highway at PTH 75, and

rehabilitating the overpass structure on the Perimeter Highway at the Trans-Canada Highway East.

Southern Manitoba:

repaving the westbound lanes and shoulders on the Trans-Canada Highway from Portage la Prairie to PTH16,

adding turning lanes and safety features to the intersection of PTH 3 and PTH 23,

starting a multi-year project to significantly improve PTH 13 from Carman to Elm Creek,

completing paving to PTH 16 from Binscarth to east of Foxwarren, and

shoulder widening of the eastbound lanes of the Trans-Canada Highway from the Brokenhead River to east of the Trans-Canada Highway.

Central Manitoba:

starting a multi-year project involving intersection improvements and paving of PTH 59 from Brokenhead Ojibway First Nation to PTH 11,

paving PTH 9 from PTH 4 to north of Clandeboye,

intersection improvements on PTH 6 at Woodlands, and

starting the next section of a multi-year project of grade widening, base work and paving of PTH 10 from PTH 25 to PTH 24.

Northern Manitoba:

continuing major work to upgrading PR 373 north of Jenpeg,

continuing upgrading PR 280 in conjunction with Manitoba Hydro,

shoulder widening of PTH 6 north of Sasagiu Rapid, and

paving PTH 10 south of PTH 60 to Overflowing River.

Bridges:

replacing the bridge on PR 227 over the Assiniboine River north of Portage la Prairie that was damaged during the 2011 flood,

replacing the bridge on PTH 12 over the Seine River Diversion just south of Ste. Anne,

replacing to the bridge on PR 348 over the Little Souris River south of Brandon that was damaged during the 2011 flood,

major repairs to the bridge on PTH 23 over the Red River near Morris,

replacing the bridge on PTH 21 over the Souris River near Hartney that was damaged in the 2011 flood,

replacing the bridge on the Trans-Canada Highway over the Assiniboine River just east of Portage la Prairie,

replacing the bridge on PTH 5 over the Turtle River south of Ste. Rose du Lac,

replacing the bridge on PR 251 over the Souris River near Coulter that was damaged during the 2011 flood,

conducting major repairs to the bridge on PTH 1 westbound over the Birch River near McMunn,

replacing the bridge on PTH 5 near Kelwood,

continuing major repairs to the bridge on PR 211 over the Winnipeg River near Pinawa, and

replacing the bridge on PTH 12 over the Rat River southwest of Zhoda.

Two major projects cost-shared between the governments of Canada and Manitoba are scheduled for next summer:

the completion of CentrePort Canada Way, a new roadway connecting CentrePort to the national and international highway system; and

intersection reconstruction of the Trans-Canada Highway through Headingley.

NOTE: MTA said they would like to see the completing of the north Perimeter Highway intersection at Highway 59, significant improvements to Highway 6, and resurfacing Highway 59.

 
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