June 14, 2018 6:35 pm
Updated: June 15, 2018 1:32 am

‘Everywhere you turn you’re blocked’: Winnipeg driver’s construction angst

WATCH: A missing flag person at a Winnipeg construction site created chaos. As Global's Joe Scarpelli tells us, some drivers wonder how the city plans projects.

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It isn’t uncommon — detours and diversions due to road work can cause many a driver’s frustrations to boil during construction season in Winnipeg.

But recent traffic jams in a downtown parking structure have led to questions over what kind of planning goes into city road work.

READ MORE: Winnipeg road construction — the top 5 routes slowing down drivers


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Hundreds of motorists leaving the seven-level parkade at 60 Albert St. at the end of their work day Tuesday got held up. What normally takes just a matter of minutes, instead took hours.  The backlog began at around 4 p.m. and didn’t clear until around 6 p.m.

“I actually went back to work for an hour so I didn’t have to stay in line too long,” one driver told Global News on his way out.

“It’s been a real piss-off.”

The City of Winnipeg determined that the delay was due to the contractor not having a flag person in place.

READ MORE: Road construction underway in Winnipeg

Kyla Betker was in a taxi during the logjam but decided to walk seven blocks to her destination.

“We missed about three lights in a row and so then I thought that I would get out and walk because I probably will make it faster,” she said.

Motorists said the afternoon rush was much better Wednesday, with a flag person actively directing traffic.

Still, drivers said their drive home each day is far from smooth with road construction on just about every street around the area.

This Lane Closure map shows where motorists can expect traffic interruptions.

City of Winnipeg website

“Honestly I find it a little confusing,” said Sabrina Johnson. “Everywhere you turn you’re blocked.”

She suggested the city stagger its projects.

“If they were to start with one project, complete it and then move onto another project, people wouldn’t be as frustrated,” Johnson said.

READ MORE: City releases list of Winnipeg roads to be fixed in 2018

The city said it does stagger the roadwork, even though it might not seem like it.

Public works communication officer Ken Allen said there is a lot of work to be done in such a short period of time.

“The city does stagger its construction projects,” Allen said. “You have to remember we have 200 projects that are ongoing throughout the summer so there’s a lot of work that’s going on.”

Allen encourages motorists to plan ahead, allow additional travel time and use alternate routes.

The construction season will continue to be busy, with a record $116 million in road renewal projects planned city-wide.

Click here to see the current City of Winnipeg lane closure map.

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