Manitoba

Waverley Street underpass designs on display at open house

Winnipeggers got their first look at the proposed Waverley underpass at an open house Thursday.

Crews to start building detour next to Waverley Street next spring

An artist's rendering of what the proposed Waverley underpass would look like when completed. The public is invited to check out the city's design, plan and timeline for the project at an open house Thursday. (City of Winnipeg)

Winnipeggers got their first look at the proposed Waverley underpass at an open house Thursday.

The $155-million underpass, slated to be completed in 2019, aims to eliminate long traffic lineups at railway crossings on Waverley Street and Taylor Avenue.

Lindenwoods resident David Chickoine said he's expecting the project to take longer than the city's estimate of two years. (CBC)

Lindenwoods resident David Chickoine was one of the community members who attended Thursday's meeting. He's expecting the project to cause major disruptions but said it's worth it.

"We waited this long, it doesn't matter. We know it's in the works and you can't speed it up. You just live with it. Construction is construction. It will probably take three years. If they say two, it'll probably be three. So we live with it," he said.

Cam Ward, project manager with the City of Winnipeg, said it's not too late for people to weigh in on the design plans, which are still being worked on. 

"We're at about 75 per cent through the design process currently, and there's opportunity to tweak some things and get some input as we move towards construction," he said.

Those who were not able to attend the open house in person can learn more about the project and fill out an online survey on the city's website.

About 30,000 vehicles and 40 trains go through the intersection of a CN Main line and Waverley Street every day, a city report says.

The underpass project was approved by city council in February, with funding from the provincial and federal governments, along with a contribution from CN.

"Waverley currently crosses the CN main line at grade, so the Waverley underpass project features putting Waverley underneath the CN main line," said Ward.

"So that's going to create a grade separation at that location and alleviate all the delay that's caused by the heavy train operations."

Detours to be built next year

Motorists will have to contend with two years of construction starting next spring, when crews will start building a detour road next to Waverley Street along with a rail detour for the trains, Ward said.

"We're constructing a four-lane detour, so you're going to have traffic maintained in two directions — two lanes in each direction — and it's going to just sort of bypass the construction site just to the west of Waverley," he said.

"In the fall of 2017 we're switching all the traffic and train traffic over to those detours to allow the underpass to be constructed, and the underpass construction is about a two-year process, and we're expecting to put traffic back under the permanent underpass in the fall of 2019."

Along with the underpass, drivers can look forward to a number of road improvements in the surrounding area and new pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, Ward said.

"You're going to see Taylor being twinned between Waverley and Lindsay [streets]. You're going to see major intersection improvements at Waverley at Wilkes Avenue, Waverley and Taylor, obviously, which is right by the underpass, and then intersection improvements at Waverley and Grant [Avenue] as well," he said.

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The $155-million underpass, slated to be completed in 2019, aims to eliminate long traffic lineups at railway crossings on Waverley Street and Taylor Avenue. 2:01

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