Council compromises on mayor's infrastructure funding wish list

City council has reached a compromise on Mayor Brian Bowman's decision to prioritize road renewals for federal infrastructure funding.

Morantz appeases critics with plan to update status of major projects left off request for help from Ottawa

The replacement of the Louise Bridge was left off the city's latest infrastructure funding wish list, but public works chair Marty Morantz wants to know the latest cost estimates for this and five other major city projects. (Jules Runne/CBC)

City council has compromised on Mayor Brian Bowman's decision to prioritize road renewals for federal infrastructure funding.

Council voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a Bowman-endorsed plan to ask Ottawa to commit $182 million over five years from the new Building Canada Fund to help Winnipeg conduct more repairs to existing regional roads.

The ask is different from past requests, in which the city provided Ottawa with an infrastructure funding wish list that prioritized major projects. For example, in 2015, the city indicated its top priorities were the Waverley underpass, the widening of Marion Street, the extension of Chief Peguis Trail and the widening of Kenaston Boulevard.

Last week, north Winnipeg councillors Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan) and Ross Eadie (Mynarski) expressed concerns about the prioritization of regional road fixes over major projects such as the extension of Chief Peguis Trail. ​

While Bowman already had enough votes to pass his plan, public works chair Marty Morantz (Charleswood-Tuxedo-Whyte Ridge) threw opponents a bone by authoring a motion to ask city staff to update the design progress and cost of six major projects​ that may be eligible for federal funding.

They include the Marion and Kenaston widenings, the Chief Peguis Trail extension from Main Street to Route 90, the southern extension of the Bill Clement Parkway from Grant Avenue to Wilkes Avenue and replacement of both the Arlington Bridge and the Louise Bridge.

Morantz's motion will be referred automatically to council's public works committee in September.