WINNIPEG – Manitoba Infrastructure (MI) has underspent its 2020-21 budget for highways capital by about $60 million, according to a Manitoba Heavy Construction Association (MHCA) release.
Approximately $22.9 million of the under expenditure was carried forward to the 2021-22 budget presented in the spring.
The highways capital actual expenditure in last year’s budget was expected to be $367.9 million, including almost $5.4 million in carry over from under-expenditure in 2019-20.
“We understand that MI continues to work through its scheduling of the highways capital program, to ensure that any holdup in projects that are planned does not thwart the planned total expenditures for the year. This is what we have been pressing for – to see MI put on the shelf, projects that are designed and ready to be rolled out, should any one year’s budget make that possible That is intrinsically the value of an annual and five-year program,” MHCA president Chris Lorenc said.
The updated financial reporting was produced by the Government of Manitoba on Sept. 23 and was presented to the MHCA Board of Directors on Sept. 29 at its quarterly meeting.
The MHCA release stated public accounts show the $101 million budgeted in 2020-21 for the Lake Manitoba-Lake St. Martin outlet channel saw an actual expenditure of $17 million due to the province awaiting federal license approval.
Approximately $31 million budgeted in 2020-21 for MI’s water-related infrastructure was under-spent by $10 million, due to rain and flooding that shifted the department’s priorities.
Public accounts also indicated $525 million was under-spent on the total strategic infrastructure budgeted primarily in health, education and housing projects.
MI also said at the MHCA board meeting the provincial government and the department of infrastructure are “committed to flowing an annual budget of no less than $500 million, and that the Economic Restart funding for highways will see $113 million carried forward, to ensure the commitment is fully expended.”
It was also decided at the MHCA board meeting that the City of Winnipeg and Highways Committees would meet to review how investment programs at each level of government are proceeding throughout the construction season.