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Mild weather extending construction season in Winnipeg

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Winnipeg road work may be largely done for the season, but many workers aren't putting the hammer away yet.

Across the province, construction crews are squeezing in as many projects as they still can before the snow is here to stay.

Parysh Blakney says the auto shop she manages on Osborne Street is surrounded by construction on Jubilee Avenue and the St. Vital Bridge, making it tough on customers and delivery drivers.

She was hoping for a break this winter, but didn’t realize construction on St. Vital Bridge isn't going anywhere.

"At least now until, well I guess, next summer now it's going to be an everyday battle,” Blakney said.

Ken Allen with Winnipeg’s Public Works Department said bridge work is often carried out through the winter.

"We're going to start work on phase two on the northbound structure and that work is going to continue throughout the winter an into next year until it’s completed in the fall,” he said.

Shawn Wood with the Construction Association of Rural Manitoba said the unseasonably warm weather means businesses are packing in projects and making room for new bookings in the spring.

"One of the best things about having this weather is it's great for morale of the construction workers,” wood said.

“And our seasonal workers, our seasonal jobs, haven't been laid off yet."

Brian Davis, the owner of All Seasons Roofing and Fencing, said the changing weather makes scheduling employees difficult.

"It’s day to day, but a lot of our employees have been with us for many, many years and they know how it goes, you live and die by the weather,” he said.

Davis said when the snow sticks, his crews will shift to the other half of his business - snow removal.

"We’ve had to become a little bit more I guess crafty and thoughtful and put a little bit more planning into things because the weather isn't quite as simple as it used to be,” Davis said.

The City of Winnipeg said drivers going across the St. Vital Bridge can expect to be affected for another year.

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