WINNIPEG - An administrative report published today for Executive Policy Committee’s (EPC) consideration next week is recommending approval in principle of an accelerated regional road improvement program that if approved by Council, and other levels of government, would result in over $300 million incremental investment into regional road repairs over the next five years. 

“Fixing our roads is a key priority for Winnipeggers, and I continue to share that priority,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “Over the last four years, we have made road renewal a priority and have made record annual investments in local and regional roads across Winnipeg. The recommendations being made for consideration by EPC and Council would continue that momentum over the next six years.”

The enhanced program would significantly enhance the City of Winnipeg’s ability to fix Winnipeg’s regional road network by accessing $100 million through the federal government’s New Building Canada Fund (NBCF). It requires no additional funding from the city or provincial governments beyond existing forecasted levels. If adopted, combined funding from all three levels of government for Winnipeg’s overall regional and local street renewal program would exceed $976 million over the six year period between 2019-2024.

In 2014, the NBCF was created to encourage investments in infrastructure projects that contribute to economic growth, job creation, and productivity. Regional street renewals with traffic volumes in excess of 1,000 vehicles per day are an eligible project category under the NBCF.  In April 2017, it was identified that $527.5 million allocated for Manitoba under the NBCF of a total $667.9 million remained unallocated.
“This funding was sitting idle and was well on its way to lapsing in a federal bank account,” said Mayor Bowman. “Now, instead of it lapsing, it could be invested into pavement across Winnipeg.”

Mayor Bowman said investment in Winnipeg’s infrastructure, particularly roads, generates a significant positive rate of return, is money well invested, and provides a significant economic benefit.

“Investing in upgrading our regional and local road helps keep our city and province moving efficiently, and this is good for our overall economy and productivity, benefits of which are shared by businesses of all shapes and sizes both inside and outside of Winnipeg,” said Mayor Bowman. “And as Winnipeg’s population grows to one million people, investments like these, today, will help support a growing city into the future.”

Since 2013, quarterly polling has consistently shown the number one issue or concern of Winnipeggers is the poor condition of city streets. Within the City of Winnipeg there are over 10 million daily vehicle-kilometres driven by commuters and approximately 80% of the traffic volume is on regional streets. They City of Winnipeg’s Asset Management Plan identifies more than 7,300 lane kilometers within the city’s road network. It represents the city’s largest asset class, comprising almost half (42%) of the city’s total asset replacement value.

Currently, the City of Winnipeg has accessed only $45.875 million of NBCF funding for the Waverley Street Grade Separation Project, which results in approximately 7% of the province’s allocated NBCF funding.  The addition of the NBCF funding for the Accelerated Regional Street Renewals program, along with the Waverley Project, would result in $145.875 million, or approximately 22% of Manitoba’s total NBCF funding.

The Public Service applied established asset management processes to identify regional streets renewal projects. The administrative report outlines the following projects and many more that would be made possible through the enhanced regional renewal program:

• Portage Avenue (Woodlawn to Garden)
• Pembina Hwy (Ducharme to Des Trappistes)
• Main Street (McAdam to Kildonan Park)
• Roblin Blvd. (Shaftesbury to Assiniboine Park Dr)
• Selkirk Avenue (Arlington to McPhillips)
• Salter Street (Dufferin to Mountain)
• Broadway (Osborne to Main)
• Keewatin Street (Inkster to Adsum)
• Maryland Street (Fawcett to Maryland Bridge)

Council approval in principle is required by the Federal Government to proceed with accessing the federal funding and to enter into an agreement with the Federal and Provincial governments. The recommendations are scheduled to be considered at the Executive Policy Committee on September 12. If adopted at that meeting, they will proceed for Council’s consideration on September 20.

The complete administrative report is available on the City of Winnipeg’s Decision Making Information System (DMIS).