News / Winnipeg

Winnipeg’s infrastructure priority list should be re-evaluated, says public works boss

Lester Deane says more design work has to be done on replacement structures for the Arlington and Louise bridges, as well as the extension of Chief Peguis Trail

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

Daivd 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

From widening roads to building bridges, Winnipeg's infrastructure project to-do list could use a re-jigging, say some at city hall.  

Coun. Devi Sharma raised the question during Tuesday’s meeting of the infrastructure renewal and public works committee, which followed a vote to spend $500,000 on more design work to replace the aged Arlington Street Bridge.

The list in question is a 2015 ranking of the city’s four biggest ticket roadwork items that council decided should be eligible for federal and provincial dollars under the Building Canada fund.

At the top of that list is a $155-million plan to build an underpass at the railway crossing at Waverley Street and Taylor Avenue, which council approved earlier this year and is scheduled to wrap up by 2019.

Second on that list is a now-defunct plan to widen Marion Street and build either an underpass or overpass, which was recently scrapped because of the project’s eye-watering cost of $556 million.

Extending Chief Peguis Trail and widening Kenaston Boulevards are in the No. 3 and No. 4 spots, respectively.

Coun. Janice Lukes has previously called for the three remaining infrastructure priorities to be re-ranked in order for other projects to be considered, especially since the initial scope of the Marion project has changed and now does not require a road widening.

On Tuesday, Lester Deane, public works director, agreed that a reordering is needed.

“I think we need to re-evaluate the other top priority projects in the City of Winnipeg,” he said.

In order to embark on a potential reorganization, Deane says additional design work has to be done on replacements for the Arlington Street and Louis bridges before they could be added to suss out costs and more detailed plans.

Mayor Brian Bowman has expressed no interest in seeing that list reorganized when previously asked about it by reporters.

Metro Savers