Broken lift leaves 201 Portage inaccessible for those using a wheelchair

Click to play video: 'Broken lift leaves those using wheelchair frustrated and unable to access building'
Broken lift leaves those using wheelchair frustrated and unable to access building
Allen Mankewich can't access 201 Portage because a lift in the concourse has been broken for over a month – Mar 3, 2019

It’s been a month of frustration for Allen Mankewich, after a lift under 201 Portage went out of service on Feb.4.

The situation has left him and other wheelchair-bound residents forced to find alternative routes.

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“It’s frustrating that nothing’s really changed in the last 40 years in terms of the design of the concourse and you know, hopefully they can figure this out,” Mankewich said.

Frustrsted, Mankewich tweeted at the City of Winnipeg and was told the building owner ar 201 Portage was responsible for repairs.

After investigating further, it turns out the city is responsible for fixing the lift.

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Unfortunately, the lifts are original to the building and parts are hard to find, leading to lengthy delays.

Allen Mankewich navigates the Portage and Main concourse underground Sunday. Global News

In an email to Global News, the City said the lift had been vandalised and the repair required a replacement to a part that doesn’t normally wear out so manufacturers don’t have it in stock.

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Transcona Coun. Shawn Nason became aware of the situation in mid-February and said he wants to ensure this gets dealt with.

“I personally would like to see a broader conversation with the landlords, the City of Winnipeg, along with possibly the other levels of government to see what ways we can improve down here for transiting the underground network,” Nason said.

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Mankewich said he’s appreciative of the support but feels sceptical.

“Words and actions are two different things, we’re now further along and enlightened about accessibility so we’ll see if that holds true and we’ll see what the city comment is as they renegotiate with the landowners.”

The City said they’ve been working with the original equipment manufacturer to fabricate the broken part and the lift is tentatively expected to be working by the middle of this week.

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