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Proposed expressway would bypass Headingley

Officials revealed plans Monday for the four lane, divided expressway to be called PTH 190. It would start at PTH 26 near St. Francois Xavier and go north of the Trans-Canada Highway until it connects with the existing CentrePort Canada Way at the Perimeter Highway.
Officials revealed plans Monday for the four lane, divided expressway to be called PTH 190. It would start at PTH 26 near St. Francois Xavier and go north of the Trans-Canada Highway until it connects with the existing CentrePort Canada Way at the Perimeter Highway. Randall Paull

WINNIPEG – The province has a $150 million plan for a new expressway that would bypass Headingley and connect the CentrePort development with the Trans-Canada Highway. But the project relies partially on federal funding that has not yet been secured.

Officials revealed plans Monday for the 14 km four lane, divided expressway to be called PTH 190. It would start at PTH 26 near St. Francois Xavier and go north of the Trans-Canada Highway until it connects with the existing CentrePort Canada Way at the Perimeter Highway. Construction would begin in 2017 with completion planned for 2020.

Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia MP Steven Fletcher was on hand for the announcement and expressed his support but said the federal government hasn’t yet signed on for its share of the funding.

“The Building Canada Fund opens up at the end of the month. We look forward to the application for this project. I think it would be an excellent project that would allow Manitoba to continue to grow,” Fletcher said.

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“We will proceed with this project but having the federal funding certainly helps us accelerate this and other projects. What Manitobans expect is for all of us to be working together and we’re going to do that,” Manitoba Infrastructure and Tranportation Minister Steve Ashton said.

The province says the huge new roadway, with interchanges at both ends, would provide better access to the city for heavy truck  traffic and improve safety on the Trans-Canada Highway in the Headingley area.

“The stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway from Headingley to Winnipeg is a reduced speed zone at 70 km/h handling over 19,000 vehicles per day,” Ashton said. “It is a congestive bottleneck for traffic moving to and from the west. This project will create a faster, safer route from the Trans-Canada Highway near St. Francois Xavier to Winnipeg.”

It’s not clear what impact the bypass would have on businesses in Headingley that cater to trucks and other traffic.

The province and federal government have been developing CentrePort as a major “inland port” and officials say the higher speed roadway will help make it a reality.

The final price tag and exact route for the new expressway are still to be determined. Some of the land required belongs to the Department of National Defence and used as a rifle range, and will have to be purchased.

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