WINNIPEG -- An intersection on the Trans Canada Highway that’s been a safety concern for years will be undergoing some changes.

“I am pleased to announce that our government will begin the construction of a new interchange at St. Mary’s and the Perimeter Highway,” said Minister of Infrastructure – Ron Schuler.

In 2018 – the province developed a South Perimeter Highway Safety Plan.

One idea the plan looked at was upgrading the South Perimeter to a freeway standard.

Schuler said the overpass will be a step in that direction.

“Eventually, all mud roads and all access points, except those by bridges or signalized intersections will be removed off the perimeter.”

He said this move is part of the province’s $500 million Manitoba Restart Program intended to boost the province’s economy in the wake of COVID-19.

“We wanted to identify this as one of the projects,” he said. “We’re going to start moving Manitoban’s back into the workforce.”

He said construction is slated to start next year – and is expected to be finished in 2023.

The St. Mary’s Road and South Perimeter intersection is in City Councillor Markus Chambers’ ward.

He said the flow of traffic along the South Perimeter Highway is important for the city.

“It’s the corridor to the United States, which is a significant amount of truck traffic that comes through our borders that helps our local economy,” said Chambers.

He said the city is happy to see the province spending money on road safety, but added there’s still more work to be done.

“Just further east on the South Perimeter Highway is St. Anne’s,” he said. “That’s another area that we’ll need to address in the short term.”