Removal of south Sturgeon Road access on Perimeter Highway sparks concerns
The removal of uncontrolled intersections along the North Perimeter Highway is underway – but it's raising concerns in a rural municipality that fears the changes may lead to a delay in emergency response times in the community.
Frances Smee, the Reeve for the Rural Municipality of Rosser, said the province has removed the south access from the Perimeter Highway to Sturgeon Road, along with the median access.
She said this is an integral intersection for the community, and now that it is gone, drivers have to go on a detour to get to Sturgeon Road both north and south of the Perimeter.
Frances Smee, the Reeve for the Rural Municipality of Rosser, says with the removal of the south access from the Perimeter Highway to Sturgeon Road, drivers have to go on a detour to get to Sturgeon Road both north and south of the Perimeter. (Source: CTV News Winnipeg)
Smee said council's main concern is how this will impact emergency vehicles. She said the community already has issues with emergency vehicles not getting to where they need to be in a timely way.
"To add this kind of almost nonsensical restrictions – it really concerns us," she said.
"Everybody wants (the Perimeter Highway) to be safe. But if emergency vehicles cannot get where they need to be in a timely manner that is completely unsafe."
Smee said council is also concerned with large farming equipment now having to travel for longer distances on the Perimeter Highway rather than crossing at Sturgeon Road.
"They don't want to be travelling down these roads. They want to be crossing these roads, and they want to be crossing them safely," she said.
Manitoba Infrastructure Ron Schuler said his department has met with first responders both in Rosser and in Winnipeg, and said they are aware of the changes.
"There are all kinds of ways for them to access where they need to go into those residences," Schuler said. "We met multiple times with the fire department and with the paramedics and they're all aware and they've all signed off on this."
As for the farm equipment, Schuler said the province believes it is far more dangerous to have equipment crossing a centre median in an uncontrolled intersection.
Schuler said the plan is to remove all the uncontrolled intersections from the Perimeter Highway in the next five years, with the hope of giving the Perimeter a freeway status within the next 25 years.
'THERE'S NO SECRET IN THIS': MINISTER SAYS PROVINCE'S INTENTIONS HAVE BEEN CLEAR
Smee said while the rural municipality knew the median crossings were going to be removed, the removal of the south access to Sturgeon Road came as a shock.
She told CTV News the RM council had met with provincial engineers in the spring.
"We were assured at that meeting that it made no sense to close Sturgeon Road, and that wouldn't be closed," Smee told CTV News.
When asked to respond to this, Schuler said, "That becomes a ‘he-said-she-said’. No, it is our intention to remove them."
Schuler said the province has been clear with its intended plans for the North Perimeter.
"There's no secret in this. There are press releases, media conferences, correspondence back and forth," he said.
"We had indicated we were going to close the South (Sturgeon Road) crossing – so the right in, right out on Sturgeon. We made it very clear that the centre medians were all coming out."
He said the province did say it is going to keep the north access to Sturgeon Road open for the time being.
"We've assured individuals that before we take the North right in-right out on Sturgeon, that we will provide them (a paved) RTAC road," Schuler said.
'YOU CAN'T JUST CUT OFF FARMS AND BUSINESSES': RESIDENT WRITES LETTER TO SCHULER
Valerie Gough, who lives just north of the Perimeter Highway, wrote a letter to Manitoba Infrastructure Ron Schuler on Monday highlighting her concerns with the changes.
"No one's denying that there are safety improvements that can be done in the north Perimeter, but a road like Sturgeon is so vital for the community of Rosser," she said in an interview with CTV News.
"Everyone wants the Perimeter to be safe. But it has to be done in a way that makes sense for everybody. You can't just cut off farms and businesses, because you think it's safer and not deal with the consequences of those actions."
Gough said she would like to see the access put back on Sturgeon Road, along with the addition of turning and acceleration lanes.
Schuler said he recognizes the removal of these access roads is painful.
"There's upheaval, there's inconvenience, there's concern, and all of that is legitimate. We get it," he said.
"We will work with people on this. Nobody's shutting anybody down, but in the end, safety has to be our number one priority."
Smee said the RM of Rosser will keep working with the province.
"We intend to put it back on the table and talk about how we can make this work, make it most safe for people using the Perimeter Highway as well as all of our residents."
Winnipeg Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
The remainder of the convoy of truckers and other activists opposed to the cross-border mandates is set to roll into Ottawa on Saturday in time for a rally on Parliament Hill.
Defence Minister Anita Anand says Canada remains open to enhancing military aid to Ukraine amid rising tensions with Russia, a message she will convey to her Ukrainian counterparts during an upcoming trip to the country.
Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell is removing her library of music from Spotify in solidarity with fellow artist Neil Young, citing 'irresponsible people' sharing misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine on the streaming platform.
As the convoy of truckers and their supporters descends on Ottawa for what's set to be a weekend of protests and potentially prolonged gridlock, what is the group looking to accomplish?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he's concerned about the potential for violence during this weekend's planned protest on Parliament Hill by truckers and others joining the crowd to vent their anger about public health restrictions to combat COVID-19.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the West to cool the rhetoric, saying that it's putting his country's economy at risk, even as Russian warships carried out target practice in the Black Sea.
Latvia is crossing its fingers that it is up next after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced this week that Canada is extending and expanding its military mission in Ukraine in response to concerns about Russia.
The cold winter in Manitoba means that ice fishing is typically a hobby only for the hardy. But entrepreneurs are offering ways to take the freeze out of ice fishing with off-grid cabins and trailers that allow guests to take up the sport in comfort and style.
Nova Scotia has enacted a new order that bans highway border blockades.
School divisions in Saskatchewan are adjusting their practices for communicating COVID-19 cases in the classroom following directive from the provincial government.
The Government of Saskatchewan reported 1,392 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, along with two more deaths.
A convoy scheduled to make its way through Regina on Saturday is expected to cause delays, according to police.
Last Friday, Penny Fentiman was surprised by raw sewage flooding her basement due to a sewer blockage.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority expects an overwhelming acute care surge due to the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
A custom built muscle car sold to the highest bidder at the Barret-Jackson collector car auction this afternoon with proceeds going to STARS.
There's a new food delivery service taking off in Sudbury that was designed to help support local, independent eateries. It's the brainchild of three restaurants and they've expanded their service to nine, with more to come.
Officials in Timmins say the city's main landfill site is filling up and they're studying the possibility of launching a city-wide composting program.
The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service Board has a new budget and a new chair.
Thursday’s report of 1,469 COVID-19 patients in hospital was revised to a pandemic-high 1,532 on Friday. The 11 highest patient counts have all come in the last 11 days.
Alberta is seeing a jump in long-term care home (LTHC) outbreaks as the province prepares to loosen rules brought in to stop the spread of COVID-19 between facilities.
More than 400 people have contracted COVID-19 at the Edmonton Remand Centre, marking the worst pandemic outbreak for the correctional facility.
Ontario health officials say they've detected at least 15 cases of the COVID-19 Omicron subvariant BA.2 in the province.
An 84-year-old man is dead after being struck by the driver of a vehicle in Etobicoke Friday afternoon.
The former dean of medicine at McGill University says Canadians should not forget about the shortage of vaccines the country faced during a very difficult moment in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Three times a week, Rick Corby hits the ice at the Huntington Hills Community Centre.
A number of Alberta physicians say Premier Jason Kenney's comments on Thursday about the provincial hospitalization situation doesn't accurately represent what's happening in ERs.
The garden centre at a Lowe's store in northwest Calgary has a long-time visitor, but it's not a customer. It's a raven and it has been there for weeks.
Quebec now says that those who's contracted and recovered from COVID-19 should wait two months before getting a booster shot.
A ceremony will be held today to mark the fifth anniversary of the Quebec City mosque shooting that left six men dead and five others seriously wounded.
Quebec truckers who disagree with a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination mandate gathered at several Canada-U.S. border crossings ahead of joining the so-called "Freedom Convoy" to Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
Convoys travelling from Arnprior, Cornwall, Kingston and Vankleek Hill are scheduled to arrive in downtown Ottawa at 12 p.m. as part of the freedom convoy protesting COVID-19 restrictions.
Ottawa's police chief is urging people to avoid downtown Ottawa this weekend with a large convoy of truckers arriving downtown, and warned that anyone who breaks the law will be prosecuted.
CTV News Ottawa looks at closures and traffic disruptions this weekend due to the Freedom Convoy protest in downtown Ottawa
New Brunswick health officials are reporting four additional deaths related to COVID-19 on Friday.
Nova Scotia reported one new death related to COVID-19 on Friday. The man in his 60s lived in the province's Western Zone.
Weather conditions will deteriorate quickly in the Maritimes Saturday morning and afternoon.
A Kitchener, Ont., man who was on the run and in hiding from the Taliban in Afghanistan has returned to Canada.
Crews with Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro are working to restore power to a Kitchener neighbourhood.
A Kitchener lab that processes COVID-19 tests was ordered to stop selling them to long-term care and retirement homes by the Ministry of Labour.
The bandages are a painful reminder of an experience Miguel Angel Zepeda Machorro wishes he could forget. The 25-year-old Mexican man is visiting Vancouver, and was the victim of a vicious attack inside a downtown Tim Hortons last week.
On the second anniversary of B.C.'s first announced COVID-19 case, the province reported nine more deaths and a new record for test-positive patients in hospital.
The community of Squamish, B.C., has opened their hearts and wallets to help a longtime local resident get back on his feet.
The number of people requiring hospital care for COVID-19 on Vancouver Island rose over the past 24 hours, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.
The founder of Macaloney’s Caledonian Distillery is being accused of branding his whisky as too Scottish by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), based in Edinburgh, Scotland.
British Columbia's top doctor says some COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings are expected to be gradually lifted by Feb. 21.