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Winnipeg looks to improve construction communication

Winnipeg looks to improve construction communication

WINNIPEG — With construction season set to begin next month the city is looking at ways to improve communication about lane and road closures.

The city’s plan for advising drivers of lane closures caused by planned or sporadic construction centres is the Waze app.

“Everyone should be downloading the Waze app and using the Waze app. It is the tool that helps us navigate the city,” said Marty Morantz, city councillor and infrastructure committee chair.

RELATED: Winnipeg highway safety advocates calling for change to construction zone fines

The app is designed to compile real-time information from the city’s new traffic management centre and reports from other users onto a map of Winnipeg.

Lane and road closures will be communicated to drivers who have downloaded the app.

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However, Morantz said only about 1,500 people have downloaded the app in Winnipeg so far.

The city is also looking at improving the way businesses are told about street construction.

A report from city administration says there are two levels of consultation with businesses affected by a standard street renewal project.

One happens a few months before the project starts and the second happens a week before shovels hit the ground.

However, on Graham Avenue where rehabilitation work is expected to close lanes starting in May, business owners said they haven’t heard anything from the city.

“It would be nice to have a little bit more information and know what’s going on especially in terms of schedule, what their timeline might be like,” said Wouter Gorder, co-owner of Sana Soup House.

RELATED: Winnipeg construction crews should work around-the-clock, business owner says

The same report said the city will continue to look at ways to communicate with business owners about road closures.

The city is also looking at the feasibility of a new app that would allow contractors working on road projects to enter closures that would appear on the Waze app.

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