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Manitoba construction season underway and causing delays

Construction is taking place this weekend on two major Winnipeg streets. Shane Gibson/Global News

Manitoba’s construction season is well underway across the province.

With major projects popping up within and surrounding Winnipeg, you’re bound to come across some delays.

Inside the perimeter, there are 150 construction sites, according to Michelle Stainton, project management engineer for the City of Winnipeg.

Local, regional and arterial streets along with sidewalks make up the majority of repairs.

“There’s a lot of work out there,” said Stainton about possible delays. “It doesn’t always work out perfectly, and on an individual project we can have a delay that overlaps into the next one.”

Read more: Construction, restaurant industries react to Manitoba budget

Major routes like Corydon Avenue, Donald Street and Taylor Avenue are all under construction, with Corydon entering its second and final summer of work.

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Taylor Avenue, voted worst street in Winnipeg by CAA in 2021, is also set to be construction-free by the end of the summer.

“It’ll be nice to have that one done,” Stainton said.

The engineer adds, while they have a street analyst to ensure traffic doesn’t get too backed up, there needs to be balance.

“If we bungle up traffic a lot worse, we can get something done a little faster,” Stainton said. “But if we actually make it smoother, it’s nicer for the whole duration of construction.”

The city has a budget of $152 million for renewals, a far cry from what the province gets to spend.

With a budget of $630 million, Manitoba Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler said the “historic amount” will be put to good use.

“We’ll have a lot of work for people … get the economy going again,” the minister said.

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Schuler said prep work has started at St. Mary’s and the south perimeter highway, slated to begin in the fall.

As well, half of a new bridge has already been erected crossing the Red River Floodway along Highway 59, a popular commute for people heading toward Grand Beach and Birds Hill Provincial Park, which Schuler knows has been a point of frustration for many.

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“A lot of pretty were pretty uptight about the fact that it goes down to one lane,” Schuler said about the project he said will be complete in a year and a half.

In addition, the Daly Overpass in Brandon, Man., is also getting a facelift.

While the minister said delays are inevitable, driving safely is a must around construction sites.

“We want every trip to be a round trip,” Schuler said, urging Manitobans to drive safely and slowly around workers.

The City of Winnipeg offers the Waze app to help residents pick the best routes to get to their destination while avoiding construction or other delays. Schuler suggests people travelling outside the city check out Manitoba 511 for a similar service.

Both the city and the province were able to get ahead on some projects for the season thanks to an early spring, and say COVID-19 won’t have an impact on how quickly work will be completed.

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