Fermor Avenue turns out to be Winnipeg's No. 1 roadwork priority in 2020
Eastern entrance to city slated for $12M repair this summer; downtown and West End streets each get $8M
The eastern fringe of Fermor Avenue, high-use downtown streets and heavily used West End arteries are slated for the largest cash injections this summer as part of Winnipeg's $130-million road-repair plan for 2020.
Roadwork is the single largest line item in Winnipeg's $237-million capital budget, a spending plan for infrastructure repairs and equipment purchases for this year.
The largest roadwork project on the city's summer to-do list is a $12.2 million plan to rebuild 1.5 kilometres of Fermor Avenue between the Plessis Road interchange and Lagimodiere Boulevard. This is the eastern entrance to the city for vehicles using the Trans-Canada Highway.
The city also plans to spend $8.3 million reconstructing stretches the West End and another $8 million on high-use downtown streets. More details on the exact streets can be found below.
City council public works chair Matt Allard of St. Boniface, whose committee is responsible for infrastructure spending, said elected officials defer to the expertise of city staff when it comes to choosing which roads to fix.
Roadwork, he said, is the "clear winner" in a budget that faces a city council vote on March 25.
"This is the one place where we see significant new investment, relative to all the other capital needs the city has," Allard said.
Despite the new investment, one construction-industry advocate is not entirely satisfied.
"On the surface, it looks like the investment in core infrastructure — streets in particular — has been preserved. However, the details will paint a slightly different story," said Chris Lorenc, president of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association.
Lorenc said he's concerned some money set aside for roadwork will wind up covering the cost of interest charges on money borrowed to pay for roadwork.
Allard said said the city had no choice but to borrow some money in order to balance its budget.
Aside from roads, most of the major capital spending in this year's budget is supported by water-and-sewer bills. The city is spending almost $32 million to replace combined sewers, nearly $18 million to fix water mains and $17 million to repair sewer pipes.
The only major recreation project on the books this year is $3.7 million worth of structural repairs to the St. James Civic Centre. This is the start of a renovation expected to cost a total of nearly $10 million.
The city is also planning to rebuild the Dublin Avenue bridge over Omand's Creek at a cost of $3.3 million and spend $2.3 million to repair two skywalks over Carlton Street.
2020 Winnipeg road renewals (selected)
Fermor Avenue: Up to $12.2 million to renew Fermor between Lagimodiere Boulevard and Plessis Road.
West End arteries: $8.3 million to repair section of Erin Street, Wall Street and Sargent Avenue.
Downtown streets: Up to $8 million to fix heavily used downtown streets, including Broadway from Osborne Street North to Main Street, Portage Avenue from Main Street to Memorial Boulevard and other downtown streets.
Dublin Avenue: Up to $6.7 million to repair Dublin Avenue between Notre Dame Avenue and St. James Street.
Grant Park-South River Heights arteries: $6.7 million to repair Stafford Street from Corydon Avenue to Pembina Highway and sections of Taylor Avenue and Corydon Avenue.
Elmwood arteries: $4.8 million to repair Watt Street from Chalmers Avenue to Munroe Avenue, Munroe from Raleigh Street to Henderson Highway and Johnson Avenue West from Henderson to Levis Street.
Archibald Street: $4.7 million to fix two stretches — St. Catherine Street to Cottonwood Road, and Plinguet Street to Doucet Street.
Roblin Boulevard: $4 million to fix Roblin Boulevard from the Perimeter Highway to Dieppe Road.
Maryland Street: Up to $3.4 million to renew Maryland between Fawcett Avenue and the Assiniboine River.
Park Lane Avenue: $2.9 million for Selkirk Avenue until it dead ends near Keewatin Street.
St. James Street: $2.7 million to repair St. James from Dublin Avenue to Saskatchewan Avenue.
Dublin Avenue Bridge: $3.3 million to replace the bridge over Omand's Creek.
Carlton Walkways: $2.3 million to rebuild a pair of skywalks that connect to RBC Convention Centre.
St. James Civic Centre: $3.7 million for structural repairs toward a total fix estimated to eventually cost $9.7 million.
Other big-ticket purchases
Combined-sewer replacements: $31.6 million to replace combined sewers with dedicated pipes and plan further means of preventing sewer backups.
Winnipeg Transit: $21 million to buy 32 new buses.
Water main renewals: $17.5 million to replace water pipes this year.
Sewer renewals: $17 million to replace sewer pipes this year.
Miscellaneous vehicles: $15.2 million to buy trucks, sedans, vans and other city vehicles.