Manitoba

Fermor Avenue underpass linking city's southeast, downtown officially opens to active transit users

City councillors officially cut the ribbon on a new tunnel that links southeast Winnipeg and downtown for people walking, rolling and biking, while keeping them separated from vehicle traffic.

Path through tunnel allows pedestrians and cyclists to connect from Niakwa Trail to Des Meurons Street

A new underpass at Fermor Avenue provides a link between southeast Winnipeg and downtown. (CBC/Radio-Canada)

A new piece of Winnipeg's active transportation puzzle opened for people walking, cycling and rolling in the city's southeast.

City councillors and transit activists unveiled the $2.5 million tunnel running beneath Fermor Avenue during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday. The path allows people to trek along the Seine River between Ste. Anne's Road and Archibald Avenue, while keeping off the roadway.

"I think this brings us a step closer to the dream, which is a completely connected separated network from the road," St. Boniface Coun. Matt Allard said.

The underpass, which is part of a now-complete $29 million upgrade to the city's roadway, links the Niakwa Trail to Des Meurons Street.

The councillor for St. Vital said the tunnel is a "key piece" in connecting his ward to downtown.

Coun. Brian Mayes said the battle to push the project through city hall could shift the mindset there, although council cannot simply focus on breaking ground for new transportation projects.

"We should have a balancing act here. I think we should keep building cycling and walking paths, but also we've got some old running [and] walking infrastructure. People can use those, and we need to put some money into that, too," he said.

"Maybe that's the culture shift I'm trying to get."

With files from CBC/Radio-Canada's Ezra Belotte-Cousineau

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