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Chief Peguis Trail extension one step closer to reality

After decades of discussions, the Chief Peguis Trail extension is one step closer to reality.

The city has earmarked $1.4 million to conduct a feasibility study which will shore up the price of the project, and do a cost-benefit analysis.

Now Premier Heather Stefanson says her government will put in half.

"This is a priority of Mayor Gillingham and we are saying today that we're supporting that priority of his," Stefanson said Thursday.

The project would extend Chief Peguis by about 10 kilometres from Main Street all the way to Brookside Boulevard near Jefferson Avenue.

Gillingham said this will improve access to places like the airport and community facilities, and will also get heavy trucks out of residential areas and help Centre Port grow.

"This is much more than just about building a road," Gillingham said, adding this will open up land for new housing and add to the active transportation network.

While it's something he campaigned on last year, the project has actually been in the works for decades.

"For six decades, councillors have been talking about this project," Gillingham said.

He said a study mapped out the route in the late 1960s and the city started assembling land in the early 1970s. In 2012, council approved a motion to prioritize construction of this project by 2016 – it is a timeline that didn't work out.

At this point, there is no price tag for the entire project – that is what the feasibility study will help determine.

Gillingham did reference an estimate from 2020 which totalled the project at $598 million.

This is just one of several projects in the works. Last week, the province also announced $700,000 for a study into widening Kenaston Boulevard.

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