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Portage and Main could get elevated walking bridges, raised gardens in makeover

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The City of Winnipeg has released different visions for the future of Portage and Main in order to get public feedback.

Since a waterproof membrane underneath the road surface and the barricades blocking pedestrian traffic need to be replaced, the city wants to use the project to spruce up the intersection.

Following consultations with 41 impacted groups, the city released a report on Tuesday with a number of conceptual drawings for Portage and Main.

A conceptual drawing of towers at the corners including viewing platforms with space for plants.(Source: City of Winnipeg/Portage & Main Revitalization Study)

The options outline replacing the barriers with bollards or fencing, which could be opened up for special events.

While this project does not include opening the intersection to pedestrian crossings, the report states this was raised during consultations.

“[Opening the intersection] came up in discussion and was noted by the project team,” the report said.

“Most stakeholders are in favour of opening Portage and Main to pedestrians and expressed this throughout the interviews.”

There is an option in the report for pedestrians to get across Portage and Main, just not at the street level. One of the images shows a circular base above the intersection, with bridges connected to the buildings on the corners, so people can walk overtop.

Another drawing has lookout towers at the corners including viewing platforms with space for plants.

There is also an idea for a raised garden ring above the intersection, or a large scale art monument connecting to the four corners.

A conceptual drawing for a sky garden. (Source: City of Winnipeg/Portage & Main Revitalization Study)

The reports also features images for new lighting, expanded sidewalks, canopies, art walls, and plans for elevators to the mall concourse below.

A conceptual drawing in the report of multi-media lighting. (Source: City of Winnipeg/Portage & Main Revitalization Study)

A survey is now available online and two open houses are planned for May 10 at 201 Portage Ave. and May 11 in the concourse.

Once the city analyzes the feedback from the survey, a recommended vision with cost estimates is expected this summer for City Council to review in the fall.

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