WINNIPEG — Officials in Manitoba are committing $33 million towards damage prevention and climate resiliency projects to support municipalities across the province. The money is an additional 10 per cent top up to existing funds.
“As part of the damage prevention and climate resiliency measures we announced last November, we have identified several local priority projects that will provide greater protection to Manitobans,” said Premier Brian Pallister in a press release. “Investing in a flood-proof route from Winnipeg to the United States border and six shovel-ready projects are additional steps our government is taking to help rebuild Manitoba’s economy and support our municipalities through the COVID-19 pandemic.”
One of the key projects the province is working on is an alternate route for commercial traffic in southern Manitoba when Provincial Trunk Highway (PTH) 75 is impacted by flooding.
The province intends to invest $16 million to convert Provincial Road 246 from gravel to asphalt from PTH 23 near Morris to PR 205 near Aubigny, which will allow traffic to be rerouted around sections of PTH 75 that are most vulnerable to closure.
“Creating a safe, flood-proof route as an alternative to PTH 75 means Manitoba can stay open for business in times of high water and keep goods moving from the United States,” said Pallister. “The continued flow of commercial traffic along the north-south corridor is critical to Manitoba’s economy, and by making careful, financially responsible decisions, we can ensure these goods continue to make their way to market.”
Since the mid 1990s, PTH 75 has been closed at least once every four years for an average of 24 days, the premier noted. The upgrades will construct a flood-proof road from the United States border at Emerson to CentrePort Canada in Winnipeg.
The premier also announced and extra $17 million investment for six climate resiliency projects:
- Rural Municipality (RM) of Montcalm – St. Mary’s Road improvement project;
- RM of Rhineland – GNS east pump house expansion;
- St. Pierre-Jolys – berm construction;
- RM of Wallace – Woodworth – Elkhorn lagoon and lift station upgrade;
- RM of Wallace – Woodworth – Kenton supply wells generator backup; and
- Altona – downtown drainage upgrade project.
“The province is funding 100 per cent of these projects to help support the long-term sustainability of our communities and it is an additional way we are helping municipal governments weather the storm from the pandemic,” Pallister said. “These projects build on previous commitments to municipalities including our recent announcement of $10 million in Building Sustainable Communities grants to support 344 projects for community development projects and nearly doubling this year’s investment in Green Team projects.”
The $33-million commitment is part of the province’s one-time capital investment in damage prevention and climate resiliency measures announced in November 2019. Officials continue to receive feedback from stakeholders to identify key projects in the capital region. More projects will be announced in the coming months, the premier added.