City told to scrap $566M Marion Street widening plan

City of Winnipeg transportation planners say the city should not proceed with a Marion Street widening project that would cost $566 million and require the construction of bridge or underpass.

City hall roundup includes Transit updates, request for more mowing money

This drawing shows the Marion Street widening study area. (City of Winnipeg)

City of Winnipeg transportation planners say the city should not proceed with a Marion Street widening project that would cost $566 million, saddle the city with more debt and require the construction of a bridge or underpass.

In a report to city council's public works committee, transportation manager Luis Escobar says the proposed project, which is opposed by many area residents and St. Boniface Coun. Matt Allard, should be replaced with a cheaper and less disruptive means of widening Marion Street between Youville Street and Lagimodiere Boulevard.

The plan on the table would require the city to spend $20 million a year on debt payments, he reports.

"The public service is recommending that a study be conducted to investigate and report back on lesser cost alternatives that do not include a grade separation or widening and are more affordable to the city, and fit within the existing council-approved debt strategy," Escobar says in the report.

"The smaller scale study will include a public consultation process that will gather information related to rehabilitation and/or reconstruction of the existing four-lane roadway, more modest intersection improvements at the intersection of Marion and Archibald streets, and realignment of Marion Street to connect with Dugald Road."

Council's public works committee will consider the report on Monday.

Peggo card uptake strong, transit says

Winnipeg Transit says riders have embraced the plastic Peggo fare cards that went on sale in July and August.

Transit director Dave Wardrop told council's finance committee on Thursday that more than 30,000 cards have been sold. He also said early statistics suggest a majority of transit rides involved Peggo cards, but cautioned he must confirm those numbers.

More cash needed to mow city lawns

Winnipeg must spend an additional $2.8 million next year to mow boulevards and lawns within its parks just to prevent falling behind during the peak growing season, the city's parks and open spaces branch warns.

In a report to council's protection, community services and parks committee, parks and open spaces manager Dave Domke requests additional funding to increase the number of mowing cycles in 2017.

City council finance chairman Marty Morantz (Charleswood-Tuxedo) said while he appreciates that officials are coming forward with budget requests, he could not commit to the funding.

7 traffic stops on next Transitway phase

There will be a total of seven traffic stops on the second phase of the Southwest Transitway, Winnipeg Transit says in a new report to council's public works committee.

The city is spending $467 million to extend the Southwest Transitway seven kilometres from Jubilee Avenue at Pembina Highway to the University of Manitoba's Fort Garry campus as well as widen Pembina Highway at Jubilee Avenue.

The bus corridor portion of the project will have stops at Georgina Street, Clarence Avenue, Chevrier Boulevard, Chancellor Drive, Markham Road, Pembina Highway and University Crescent, the new report states.


Bartley Kives

Senior reporter, CBC Manitoba

Bartley Kives joined CBC Manitoba in 2016. Prior to that, he spent three years at the Winnipeg Sun and 18 at the Winnipeg Free Press, writing about politics, music, food and outdoor recreation. He's the author of the Canadian bestseller A Daytripper's Guide to Manitoba: Exploring Canada's Undiscovered Province and co-author of both Stuck in the Middle: Dissenting Views of Winnipeg and Stuck In The Middle 2: Defining Views of Manitoba.