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December 1, 2023
Projects Address Community’s Concerns about Driver, Pedestrian Safety: Naylor
BROKENHEAD OJIBWAY NATION—The Manitoba government is responding to community concerns and taking significant steps to enhance public safety by introducing new traffic signal lights at the intersection of Provincial Trunk Highway (PTH) 59 North with Bison Drive-Anishinabe Way, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Lisa Naylor announced here today alongside Chief Gord Bluesky, council and members of Brokenhead Ojibway Nation.
“We have listened to the leadership and the community of Brokenhead Ojibway Nation who have expressed their long-standing concerns about highway safety,” said Naylor. “Installing new traffic signal lights, reducing the highway speed through the community and improving signage are important steps toward addressing these concerns. We are also aware of the tragic loss of life that has occurred at this intersection and we are hopeful that these measures will make this intersection safer for everyone.”
The $2-million traffic safety projects are in addition to a new bridge structure over the Brokenhead River that is currently in the initial planning and design stage. Further engagement with the community on this important bridge project will be advanced in the new year, noted the minister.
Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure (MTI) has been in recent discussions with Brokenhead Ojibway Nation about twinning PTH 59 based on conceptual plans from 2016. The minister noted the department is committed to working with the community to update the twinning design concept for this section of PTH 59, which will consider active transportation options such as new safe walking and bicycle paths for residents as part of the conceptual plan.
In response to requests from Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, the province has also installed new community signs along PTH 59 acknowledging the Ojibway spelling of the community name, Baaskaandibewiziibiing.
“We welcome this new controlled intersection, which will improve safety on Highway 59 North through our community,” remarked Bluesky. “This is the result of decades of work and advocacy by our First Nation. While this is great news, I want to recognize and pay tribute to the families who lost loved ones on this stretch of highway. We look forward to continuing to work with the Manitoba government on additional safety improvements including bridgework, safe active transportation corridors and meaningful co-planning on the eventual twinning of the highway.”
The minister said MTI remains committed to working co-operatively with Brokenhead Ojibway Nation and Indigenous Services Canada to establish short and long-term solutions to further enhance safety along PTH 59 through the community.
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