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'We're building the city for the future': Improving Route 90 could cost Winnipeg over $586M: Report


A preliminary report outlining the costs associated with improving Route 90, and widening Kenaston Boulevard, has been released – and it’s expected to cost a pretty penny.

The cost for rejuvenating Route 90 from Taylor Avenue to Ness Avenue is $586.1 million.

Should the project be solely funded by the City of Winnipeg using debt, it would cost an additional $150.6 million in construction period interest.

The report calls Route 90 “a vital transportation corridor” as it’s one of only two north-south routes that span the entire city.

“The corridor requires upgrades to address current and future traffic volumes, new development and future redevelopment, as well as the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and transit users,” the report notes.

The project consists of three major components and their estimated costs.

Bridge rehabilitation and road renewal (42 per cent), road widening and capacity improvement (36 per cent), and sewer upgrades and drainage improvements (22 per cent).

Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham voiced his support for the proposed work today.

“This project has to be done. Anyone who's driven down Route 90 in that section lately will know that this road is past its end of life.”

The plan specifically calls for widening Route 90 to three lanes in each direction, which currently due to “bottlenecks and traffic delays, which in turn cause more idling and increased greenhouse gas emissions.”

Gillingham, who campaigned on a pledge to expand Kenaston Boulevard, doubled-down on expanding the traffic lanes.

“We're building the city for the future…In fact, the current traffic volumes, the report indicates, necessitate a third lane, they should have a third lane. So the project, you know, the widening should happen already. But when we look at the future growth of our city and the population numbers that keep increasing, then you know to me that that necessitates widening the street,” said Gillingham.

According to the benefit-cost analysis, over a 25-year period, “widening the facility has a positive net present value of $20.5 million, a positive benefit-to-cost ratio of 1.17, and an internal rate of return of 1.4 percent.”

Gillingham says he will be speaking to the provincial and federal governments to discuss how they will “stand to benefit in my estimation, from this investment as well.”

Meanwhile, Coun. Brian Mayes expressed some concerns about the proposal.

“I don't really have a problem with the bridge replacement or with rebuilding the road. My problem is with the report that's come out that claims that widening the road is somehow going to be an environmental benefit. And I just don't buy that. And I think there are other arguments, we can have other debates you can have. But I just don't think it does satisfy our climate change policies. I don't buy the math that's in this report,” said Mayes.

He is also trying to better understand the figures presented regarding the proposed sewage work.

“The sewer stuff, we're still trying to get answers. We've got four different sets of numbers. We've had a very public presentation in January that now seems to have been rescinded. So I'd like to I'm glad to see as doing to work on the sewer system. I've been calling for that for years. But I need to get some more numbers on that.

The report will be presented at the standing policy committee on public works on June 11. Top Stories

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