Building quality infrastructure
Posted: 09/27/2018 11:52 AM
After a few years of construction, the interchange at Highway 59 and the North Perimeter Highway is in its final stages of completion.
I recently joined other area MLAs at the site to announce a phased opening of the long-awaited interchange, which will eliminate the twists, turns and traffic lights drivers have long navigated, and allow traffic to run smoother and safer. Highway 59 and the North Perimeter is Manitoba’s busiest intersection, with as many as 70,000 vehicles passing through every day.
It took 600 construction workers one million hours to build the interchange’s 11 bridges and construct 65 lane-kilometres of road covering a total of 7.5 kilometres. The project required 70,000 cubic metres of concrete, enough to pave over 28 football fields. If put end to end, the piles would be 1.5 times higher than Mount Everest. Yet despite the project’s size, it is on time and slightly under its initial $275-million budget. If weather co-operates, all parts of the fully reconstructed interchange should open by the end of October.
This project is part of a wider initiative by our government to ensure Manitobans have quality infrastructure in place at major intersections across the province. Other improvements can be seen near the interchange. Just north of it on Highway 59 at the Birds Hill turn-off onto Provincial Road 202, a new traffic signal and additional turn lanes are now installed. As well, there is a redirection of traffic on Knowles Avenue in North Kildonan to an extension of Headmaster Row.
Our Manitoba government’s steady approach to infrastructure ensures prices are fair, contracts are tendered and construction companies have a predictable stream of work on public projects. This is in sharp contrast to patterns in previous years in which provincial infrastructure budgets were underspent and overspent in different years, creating less stable markets for tradespeople and disrupting government budget building processes. The interchange at Highway 59 and the North Perimeter Highway will serve not only residents of northeast Winnipeg, but transport trucks, beachgoers and all traffic heading northeast from Winnipeg on Highway 59. It is both safe and smart, and brings a modern improvement to our area of Winnipeg that serves millions of vehicles each year.
Andrew Micklefield is the MLA for Rossmere and can be reached at 204.289.4545 or by email at email@example.com