emerson manitoba

The mayor of Emerson is worried the town will lose business from cross border traffic while Highway 75 is rebuilt. (CBC)

The mayor of Emerson is raising concerns about the rebuilding of Highway 75 and what it will mean for his town.

Wayne Arseny said the $215 million reconstruction of the northbound lanes would interfere with access to the town. Arseny said that would hurt Emerson.

"That would basically cut the community off, and all the businesses, from any access from this traffic that is going by, or from any future development on lands that private people have and town ownership have," he said.

The province announced Wednesday it will bring the highway up to interstate standards to prevent flooding.

It said the southbound lanes of the highway have already been upgraded. It said the upgrades are part of a 5-year plan to improve infrastructure using revenue generated by the PST increase.

Among the infrastructure works the province is planning is a bypass around Headingley that would link Manitoba's inland port, CentrePort, with the Trans-Canada Highway.

Arseny said Emerson, located on Manitoba's important trade link with the U.S., wants to remain a player in building Manitoba's growing economy.

But he is worried, because there is already talk that access to Emerson during construction would be moved about 2 kilometers north.

"Emerson is a very big supporter of CentrePort," he said. "And we want to be a part of the progress of this highway, and not be impeded and cut off by putting in access, which would basically [be] telling people turn back a mile, if you want to come into Emerson."

The province said some of the infrastructure projects, such as new bridges over the Morris River and the Plum River will be finalized after public consultations.

Arseny is hoping the same will be done for Highway 75 upgrades.