News / Winnipeg

Full steam ahead for $155M Waverley underpass: city

More than a few councillors had negative things to say about the process that prioritized the Waverley underpass over other projects, but approved it anyways.

Drivers wait for one of the many trains to pass at Waverley Street and Taylor Avenue, which is where the city has Ok'd building a $155 million underpass

David Lipnowski/ For Metro

Drivers wait for one of the many trains to pass at Waverley Street and Taylor Avenue, which is where the city has Ok'd building a $155 million underpass

Winnipeg city councillors officially gave the Waverley underpass project a green light, Wednesday.

At least funding the city's share of the $155 million project got a green light. Some councillors were at more of an amber light on the project in general.

Coun. Ross Eadie supported it, but speculated he’ll “probably live to regret it.” Coun. Cindy Gilroy supported it despite not really being a “fan” of it.

Earlier this year, the announcement of a provincial rail relocation task force made some councillors suggest that task should take precedence.

Other councillors still feel that the second phase of the city’s transit plan, or widening Kenaston Boulevard should be the priority.

And almost all commented Wednesday that there were communication breakdowns along the road, with new metrics for prioritizing capital projects used to slot the Waverley underpass ahead of others in March 2015.

Coun. Devi Sharma was especially concerned about the “process and lack of information,” and she’s still unclear on the “cost-benefit analysis.”

Mayor Brian Bowman said it was based on a “comprehensive point system that looks beyond dollar figures alone.”

When it came time to vote, Coun. Russ Wyatt was the lone nay-sayer opposed to the project.

Bowman said the debate over the last number of months was “healthy.”

“We are always looking for ways to improve our processes,” he said. “At the end of the day, I’m very pleased that council strongly supported moving forward with this important project.”

Once complete, the project would see an underpass constructed where a railway is located at Waverley Street and Taylor Avenue. 

The city expects the project to finished by 2019.