Lagimodiere and Perimeter get $204M highway interchange
North Kildonan councillor worried about potential for increased traffic from corridor
Construction has begun on a $204-million highway cloverleaf at Winnipeg's Lagimodiere Boulevard and the Perimeter Highway, but some people living nearby are concerned the project could create more traffic in their neighbourhoods.
Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger said the project will create 2,320 jobs and be completed by the fall of 2018.
He made the announcement Thursday morning alongside Terry Shaw, executive director of the Manitoba Trucking Association, and Chris Lorenc, president of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association.
"This is a growing part of Manitoba. There's a lot of families that are living out here. They need good, safe roads," Selinger said at Thursday's announcement.
The intersection, in the city's northeast corner, is mainly controlled by traffic lights and often backed up with vehicles — many heading north to the beaches off Highway 59 (the extension of Lagimodiere).
During construction, at least four lanes of Lagimodiere and at least two lanes of the Perimeter Highway will remain open, Selinger said.
The project will also include:
- An active transportation corridor.
- A "through-pass" corridor, or tunnel, under the Perimeter for emergency vehicles to access Raleigh Street and Gateway Road.
- An allowance for future expansion of the Perimeter Highway to six lanes.
While city Coun. Jeff Browaty, who represents the North Kildonan ward, is happy the interchange project is finally moving forward, he is not pleased about the through-pass.
He is concerned it could eventually be used as a regular route for all traffic, funneling up to 30,000 vehicles a day down Gateway and Raleigh.
"Residential streets like Headmaster, Gateway by the community club and that, they're not designed to have eventually tens of thousands of vehicles going down these streets. Headmaster has driveways that back right onto it," Browaty told CBC News.
He argued that while the province currently does not have plans to open the corridor to vehicular traffic, "there would be very little stopping them from opening it in the future."
Longtime North Kildonan resident Ross Campbell echoed Browaty's concerns about regular traffic potentially taking over the corridor.
"Where I live, we have a lot of seniors. They want … access out here to the walkway," he said.
"People enjoy this walkway. People are here 12 months of the year, at nighttime, evening, daytime."
Selinger said there are no plans to open the corridor to regular traffic at this time, and residents would be consulted before any decision is made.
"Any future decisions will be made in close consultation with them and we'll ensure that communities stay safe and well looked after, but this investment will allow for greater safety in and out of this area for everybody who's using it," he said.