Governments pledge $540M to solve Lake Manitoba, Lake St. Martin flooding

Along the shore of Lake Manitoba, near St. Laurent, government announced a cost-sharing project aimed at ending seasonal flooding. Amber McGuckin / Global News

The federal and provincial governments are planning to spend up to $540 million dollars for new flood management for Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin outlet channels.

Severe flooding in the areas in 2011 and 2014 resulted in extensive damage to homes and businesses as well as evacuations in communities around Lake St. Martin.

READ MORE: Manitoba homecoming six years in the making held Thursday in Lake St. Martin

The project announced Monday will consist of building two 23-kilometre-long diversion channels:

  • the Lake Manitoba Outlet Channel, which will run north from Watchorn Bay in Lake Manitoba to Birch Bay on Lake St. Martin, and
  • the Lake St. Martin Channel, which will run northeast from Lake St. martin to Lake Winnipeg south of Willow Point.

Construction of two bridges, water control structures and adjustment of surrounding highways are also included in the plan.

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The two governments will split the costs 50/50 at $247.5 million each.

READ MORE: Premier Pallister says Lake Manitoba outlet project to begin later this year

The governments identified the channels project as a major priority and said the access road to Lake St. Martin is underway, with the rest of the work scheduled to begin in fall 2019 at the earliest.

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