Timeline unclear for removal of Portage and Main barricades

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Timeline unclear for removal of Portage and Main barricades
WATCH: Brian Bowman announced Friday that some barricades will come down at Portage & Main when "the Richardson Building commences their improvements this spring..." Global's Kevin Hirschfield reports – Mar 26, 2018

Winnipeg mayor Brian Bowman announced the next step in one of his original campaign promises at Friday’s State of the City address — a plan to get the iconic Portage & Main intersection open to pedestrian traffic for the first time in nearly 40 years.

“As the Richardson Building commences their improvements this spring, they’ll be the first to remove the barriers at the iconic intersection,” said Bowman at Friday’s event.

However, a specific timeline is still unclear.

In a statement, Bentall Kennedy, the property manager for the Richardson Centre, said the plan to renew their plaza is a two-year process and they are “working with the city to include the sidewalks at the Richardson Centre corner of Portage & Main” into the design.

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Once that is done, the city confirmed to Global News that “the first phase of their approach to introducing pedestrian traffic is contemplated to connect the northeast corner (Richardson) to the southeast corner (Bank of Montreal).”

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A timeframe for that was not made clear as the city said in a statement: “More review and analysis is required before this change is implemented.”

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As for when the rest of the barricades will come down, that is also a question mark.

Jim Moore of Harvard Property Management, which owns 201 Portage, said no timeline has been given for the barricades to be removed in front of his building at the northwest corner.

The city said the project will be a phased-in approach, meaning pedestrian traffic will be opened in stages rather than opening the entire intersection to pedestrian traffic all at once.

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