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Manitoba government looks at roundabout for intersection of 2 major highways

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said Thursday his government is looking at adding a roundabout to the intersection of highways 1 and 16, west of Portage la Prairie. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

The Manitoba government is promising to change a major intersection on the Trans-Canada Highway to improve road safety.

Premier Brian Pallister says traffic lights at the junction of highways 1 and 16, west of Portage la Prairie, are to be replaced with a roundabout.

He says it will be a big improvement on the current 90-degree intersection where there have been more than 20 accidents and three deaths in recent years.

Read more: Winnipeg girl, 13, killed in crash near Portage la Prairie: RCMP

“It remains one of the more dangerous intersections in our province,” he said Thursday.

Pallister says a study on the intersection’s design is to be done this fall and work is to start next spring.

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The project may require the province to appropriate land in the area, and Pallister’s brother owns a farm near the intersection.

The premier says he would not be involved in that process and if need be, will recuse himself from any cabinet discussion of the issue.

Read more: Yukon man, Manitoba woman killed in crash near Whitehorse

“We have processes to make sure that there’s independent, arm’s-length analysis (and) evaluations, and if there’s appropriation necessary, that that is handled professionally, not through political circles,” Pallister said Thursday.

“There wouldn’t be cabinet discussion on this issue at this point. Were there ever to be? Hypothetical questions we don’t usually answer, but I’ll answer that one. I’ve never failed to recuse myself when there’s been an issue of personal or family interest involved, so I would certainly be recusing myself.”

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The premier said he cannot say how much the project might cost until contractors submit bids.

 

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