Regina to spend $300K or more studying feasibility of removing rail lines from city

Regina Mayor Michael Fougere said removing the railway lines from the city may be the cheapest option available and would be less invasive than other construction projects.

Moving lines probably cheapest option, Fougere says

A railway crossing meets Regina's Ring Road near Winnipeg Street, which along with the area near McDonald Street, sees about 63,000 vehicles per day. (CBC)

Regina Mayor Michael Fougere said removing the railway lines from the city may be the cheapest and least invasive option available to deal with rail lines clogging busy intersections.

He said Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway, the two companies with tracks crossing some of the city's busiest roads, are open to discussion on the matter.

On Monday city council approved the use of up to half a million dollars from its general revenue fund (GRF) to conduct a feasibility study which will look at the possibility of removing rail lines from the city. 

Three hundred thousand dollars would be allocated from the GRF for the study, with an extra $200,000 provided if necessary and at the city manager's discretion. 

"We don't expect it to be $500,000," Fougere said at Monday's city council meeting. 

The rails are located between McDonald Street and Winnipeg Street, in high traffic areas near the city's Ring Road, which sees 63,000 vehicles travelling in the area, according to a 2015/2016 annual traffic flow map.

Fougere said removing the railway lines would mean no investment in new infrastructure, but repair of existing infrastructure such as the Ring Road.

The McDonald Street overpass was described as "critical" by Fougere. 


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