Council puts $566M Marion Street megaproject out of its misery

City council has finally killed the Marion Street widening, a $566-million megaproject that ran afoul of St. Boniface residents.

City to go back to drawing board to find means of improving east-west traffic in St. Boniface

City council voted unanimously to kill the $566-million Marion Street widening. (Bartley Kives/CBC)

City council has finally killed the Marion Street widening, a $566-million megaproject that ran afoul of St. Boniface residents.

Two months after city transportation planners advised the project should be cancelled, council voted unanimously to abandon the project and have consulting firm MMM Group come up with a cheaper way to improve the flow of traffic between Youville Street and Lagimodiere Boulevard.

The Marion widening would have included the construction of an underpass at Archibald Street and the rail line to the east, as well as on-ramps and off-ramps.

St. Boniface residents opposed to the project said it would require expropriations and exacerbate traffic issues on smaller streets.

They also decried a consultation process former public works chair Janice Lukes (South Winnipeg-St. Norbert) called horrible.

The Marion and Archibald interchange project, shown in a drawing, has been cancelled. (City of Winnipeg)
Coun. Jason Schreyer (Elmwood-East Kildonan) tried to put off the decision ​about assigning a new consulting contract to MMM Group until December, but no one else on council supported him.

Lukes and new public works chair Marty Morantz (Charleswood-Tuxedo-Whyte Ridge) said it would cost the city more to issue a new consulting tender.

Earlier today, council also voted approve annual fire inspections of rooming houses with shared kitchens or bathrooms, the $345,000 expropriation of a Parker neighbourhood home in order to complete the Southwest Transitway and the renaming of city hall's administration building after former mayor Susan Thompson, the first woman to lead the city.


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.