With roads and sidewalks across Winnipeg still torn up, the city won’t say the exact number of incomplete road construction projects still ongoing as construction season nears its end.
“It is premature to provide a list of construction projects that will carry over to next year at this time, as road construction projects are still in progress weather permitting,” a city spokesperson wrote in an email Friday afternoon. “We expect to have a list by the end of the month once construction has ceased for the season.
“Project information is still being compiled at this time, so no list is available,” the spokesperson wrote in a later email — after Global News twice clarified it wasn’t seeking the number of projects that won’t be completed by the season’s end, but rather the number incomplete as of today.
Jim Berezowksy, the city’s public works director, noted September’s heavy rain and the devastating October snowstorm affected construction companies’ ability to work as the end of the season came closer.
“Our efforts right now are trying to take advantage of any weather opportunities we have, with material suppliers being made available to complete as much as we can over the next week,” Berezowsky said.
“If Mother Nature supports any additional efforts, we’ll continue on as best as we can.”
But realistically, there will be a few projects left incomplete when the season ends, Berezowsky said.
Those projects then become a priority when the season begins again.
Mayor Brian Bowman pointed to new efforts over the past year to improve the road construction process and lengthen the season.
“I know it’s been a very busy construction season, as the last number of years have been,” Mayor Brian Bowman said, then pointing to University of Manitoba research on cold weather concrete and efforts within the city’s public works department as important.
“We’re trying to stretch the dollars and stretch the construction season as long as possible.”
Bowman also noted the city is working on implementing recommendations from a city-industry-engineering work group report from earlier this year to improve road construction within the city.
Those recommendations include allowing more 24-hour construction, improving communication with residents and businesses and aligning the road construction tendering process with the city budget process.