Manitoba

Winnipeg's Empress Street 'falling apart at the seams,' voted worst road in Manitoba: CAA

Crumbling pavement, potholes and missing infrastructure: Manitobans can think of lots to hate about the province's roads, according to the Canadian Automobile Association.

7 of the province's Top 10 worst roads are in Winnipeg, according to CAA survey

Seven of the Top 10 roads Manitobans hate the most are in Winnipeg this year, according to CAA. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

Crumbling pavement, potholes and missing infrastructure: Manitobans can think of lots to hate about the province's roads, according to the Canadian Automobile Association.

The association released its annual Top 10 worst roads in Manitoba list on Thursday. Seven of them are in Winnipeg, including Empress Street at the top of the heap.

"It's no surprise that Empress Street took the top dishonour in our campaign — it's been a popular vote for many years thanks to the fact it's falling apart at the seams," said Liz Kulyk, corporate manager of government and community relations at CAA Manitoba, in a release.

More than 6,000 votes were cast for close to 700 roads throughout the survey, the release said. This year's survey also included feedback from cyclists and pedestrians, instead of just drivers as in years gone by.

After Empress — which has appeared in the Top 10 for years — Provincial Road 450 near Boissevain, 69 kilometres south of Brandon, was in second place and Sherwin Road in Winnipeg was No. 3.

Provincial Road 247, which runs through La Salle, just south of Winnipeg, and Provincial Road 353 near Brookdale, 36 kilometres northeast of Brandon, were the only other rural entries on the list, in sixth and ninth spots respectively.

Empress is slated to see improvements this year. It's also at the top of the city's road budget spending, set to receive $11.4 million for reconstruction between Portage Avenue and St. Matthews Avenue.

Fermor Avenue, in eighth spot, and Pembina Highway, in 10th, are also on the city's agenda. Fermor is set to get $6 million for the stretch between Rue Archibald to St. Anne's Road and Pembina is down for $2.8 million for the northbound lanes between Avenue Ducharme and Cloutier Drive.

Archibald also made the list, at No. 4. The list was rounded out by Saskatchewan Avenue (No. 5) and Higgins Avenue (No. 7).

"We're pleased Empress is scheduled for reconstruction with a new bike lane addition this year, but the reality is that Winnipeggers should not have had to wait this long to get a fix," Kulyk said in the release.

Voters cited potholes, crumbling pavement and poor or absent cycling and walking infrastructure as their biggest concerns.

Coun. Scott Gillingham (St. James-Brooklands-Weston) accepted the results on the city's behalf. Empress Street is in his ward.

"For too long, streets in my ward have topped CAA's annual worst roads list. It has been my goal to get those streets rebuilt and off the list," he said.

The results are set to be presented to the city and the province.

Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler said the province previously committed to spending $350 million on road repair and $136.6 million on highway maintenance.

"Safety is the number one priority for our department, and is paramount in our decision making process," he said in a prepared statement.

"We are working with stakeholders across the province to decide which projects to move forward with and which projects make the most sense."

Manitoba's 10 worst roads, according to CAA:

  1. Empress Street, Winnipeg
  2. Provincial Road 450, Boissevain
  3. Sherwin Road, Winnipeg
  4. Archibald Street, Winnipeg
  5. Saskatchewan Avenue, Winnipeg
  6. Provincial Road 247, La Salle
  7. Higgins Avenue, Winnipeg
  8. Fermor Avenue, Winnipeg
  9. Provincial Road 353, Brookdale
  10. Pembina Highway, Winnipeg 

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