A $45-million injection into Highway 9 will make the popular route from Winnipeg to Winnipeg Beach much safer and smoother, the Manitoba government announced on Tuesday.

The work will include reconstruction, resurfacing and better road drainage along the highway through Manitoba's Interlake, said Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton.

"This busy Interlake highway is important to local families and businesses, tourists and commercial travellers," Ashton said. "We know the best way to encourage growth in our rural economies is to invest in roads and bridges."

The construction will take place over the next five years and is expected to create the equivalent of one year of employment for more than 500 people, Ashton said.

The work is in addition to $26 million of upgrades undertaken on Highway 9 since 2007, including grading and concrete pavement, two bridge rehabilitations and intersection improvements around Manitoba Avenue in Selkirk.