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Province Moves Ahead With Plans to Double CentrePort Canada Way, Reducing Trans-Canada Highway Bottleneck West of Winnipeg

March 10, 2014

Expressway Will Improve Safety in Headingley, Strengthen Manitoba Trade: Minister Ashton

The Manitoba government is moving forward with plans to double the length of CentrePort Canada Way, extending the four-lane divided expressway from the Trans-Canada Highway at PTH 26 near St. François Xavier around Headingley to the existing portion of CentrePort Canada Way, Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton announced today.

“The stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway from Headingley to Winnipeg is a reduced speed zone at 70 km/h handling over 19,000 vehicles per day.  It is a congestive bottleneck for traffic moving to and from the west.  This project will offer create a faster, safer route from the Trans‑Canada Highway near St. François Xavier to Winnipeg,” said Minister Ashton.  “This is the next major infrastructure project critical in growing the Manitoba economy and will help ensure the further development of CentrePort Canada, the Winnipeg airport and surrounding as a premiere hub for trade by air, rail and road.”

The minister noted the interchange at the Perimeter Highway and CentrePort Canada Way was constructed to accommodate a future bypass.

“The new Headingley bypass will connect to CentrePort Canada Way and help us continue to develop Manitoba’s inland port,” said Diane Gray, president and CEO of CentrePort Canada.  “Better infrastructure means more efficient connections for trucks moving cargo, it will help open up new lands for industrial development and will support the creation of a common-use rail facility at CentrePort, our next major project.  This is great news for CentrePort and the transportation industry in Manitoba.”

“I am supportive of a bypass which will improve safety on a very dangerous portion of the Trans‑Canada through Headingley.  This bypass will also enhance the goals of Centreport Canada, our country’s only tri-modal inland port,” said Steven Fletcher, MP, Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia.

The minister said preliminary engineering work is complete and detailed engineering work and public consultation on route selection will begin once the province acquires a parcel of land required for the corridor currently owned by the Department of National Defence, which is being used as a rifle range.  The project is estimated to cost in excess of $150 million but a more accurate costing will not be available until detailed designs are completed.  Depending on the land acquisition required, construction will be completed as part of the province’s five-year infrastructure plan.

“With all three levels of government contributing significantly to the creation and development of CentrePort, Canada’s first inland port serving the mid-continental trade corridor and beyond, it cannot be understated how important the Headingley bypass will be,” said Chris Lorenc, president of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association.  “As CentrePort serves as a multi-mode site for trade and transportation, it is critical that adjoining and surrounding infrastructure not only keeps up to support current demand, but anticipates the steady growth in traffic this corner of Winnipeg and Manitoba will see.  The government of Manitoba’s recent commitments are an investment in Manitoba’s economy that will pay dividends in increased jobs, continued distribution of wealth within our economy and more safely move cargo within and around Winnipeg.  The Manitoba Heavy Construction Association applauds this move and looks forward to more efficient and effective movement of goods and people within the Headingley area.”

CentrePort Canada Way, designated PTH 190, was officially opened in November of 2013 and provides a new 9.1-kilometre, four-lane divided roadway through CentrePort, linking to the national highway system and providing access to rail carriers, an international trucking hub and James A. Richardson International Airport.

“Manitoba is the gateway connecting Canada -west and east and, while today’s announcement has obvious national benefit, it benefits Manitoba’s trucking industry and more importantly all Manitoba industry,” said Terry Shaw, general manager of the Manitoba Trucking Association.  “Investing in a Headingley bypass is an item our industry has been advocating for for many years and we welcome the news of it.”

This new project is one of Manitoba’s major commitments to growing the economy and creating jobs through investments in infrastructure, said Minister Ashton.  This plan will add to the previous economic infrastructure announcements of:

  • flood proofing PTH 75 to interstate standards so it remains open during severe Red River floods, protecting Manitoba’s trade with all of North America;
  • rebuilding the southwest Perimeter Highway with interstate standard interchanges to create a high-speed, free-flowing roadway to accommodate the increasing economic activity and truck traffic that comes with the opening of CentrePort Canada Way; and
  • reconstructing the Trans-Canada Highway west from Winnipeg to Saskatchewan to completely resurface the road to promote trade between Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Minister Ashton also noted work continues to complete the upgrades to the Trans-Canada Highway in Headingley including intersection improvements and dividing the highway.  The section between John Blumberg and Coverall roads, including new lights at Cameron Street, will be completed this summer.

“CAA Manitoba believes road safety is a job that is never done,” said Mike Mager, president and CEO of CAA Manitoba.  “We applaud the province for taking the initiative to improve unsafe stretches of highway, like Highway 1 through Headingley.  It is a growing community with more traffic than ever before.  That is why addressing these safety concerns is so important.”

Motorists are reminded to slow down and use caution approaching and in construction zones, for their own safety and the safety of workers.  The latest information on lane closures and road conditions is available anytime toll-free at 511, or by following the Twitter account @MBGovRoads.

Headingley By-Pass map (PDF)

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