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Winnipeg implements harsh lessons learned for Canada Summer Games

Myron Love
Winnipeg implements harsh lessons learned for Canada Summer Games
Fireworks light up the sky over the festival stage and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights as part of the finale to the opening night of the Canada Summer Games Festival. Several upgrades were carried out across the province in preparation for the games. -

Two years ago, the City of Winnipeg hosted the FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) women’s World Cup soccer matches.

More than 10,000 visitors came to the city for the games and were disgruntled when they had to deal with travel delays due to road construction en route to the venue at Investors Group Stadium.

Well, the city seems to have learned its lesson from the complaints and negative reviews surrounding the FIFA event.

This past August, Winnipeg hosted an even larger sporting event, the 2017 Canada Summer Games.

With more than 20,000 visitors expected, the province took a number of proactive steps to ensure the problems posed by roadwork before and during the FIFA games weren’t repeated this time around.

More than 150 infrastructure projects — six of them major in scope — were scheduled for Winnipeg this past summer. Several were scheduled near Canada Games venues.

City spokesperson Lisa Fraser noted in an email that city planners worked proactively to tailor construction to minimize the impact on visitors.

While most construction proceeded without interruption, she noted, "We restricted construction in areas around venues, hotels, major tourist locations and athlete transit shuttle routes.

"We gave contractors advance notice so they could co-ordinate around the games. City contracts were written prohibiting construction in specific areas during the games, when possible."

Fraser added the city encouraged all motorists to use the "Waze" navigation app to keep track of city roadwork and find the best routes to Canada Summer Games events as well as traffic and incident updates.

The games began on July 27 and finished on Aug. 13.

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