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Brandon landmark demolished to make way for new overpass

Myron Love
Brandon landmark demolished to make way for new overpass
S.J. MCKEE ARCHIVES, BRANDON UNIVERSITY, ALF FOWLER COLLECTION, 6-19999.34 — The International Harvester Company of America building in Brandon, Man. was located on Pacific Avenue at the corner of 18th Street. One of the oldest buildings in Brandon, it’s been demolished to make way for a new overpass.

One of the oldest buildings in Brandon, Man. has been demolished to make way for a new overpass aimed to ease traffic flow on PTH 10 connecting the TransCanada Highway just to the north of the city and the major part of the growing south central Manitoba city.

Originally built in 1911 by the International Harvester company to serve as a warehouse and showroom for International Harvester’s agricultural products, the building in more recent years has been known as the Kullberg’s Building, a storage warehouse for Kullberg’s Furniture and Appliances.

Also being affected is the Pacific Plaza strip mall at the south end of the bridge, whose businesses will have to relocate to make room for the project.

The current Daly Overpass, named after Brandon’s first mayor, was built in 1963. 

According to a press release put out by Manitoba Infrastructure in December, “due to growth in the region and the importance of PTH 10 as a major route, the current three-lane Daly Overpass structure has created a ‘bottleneck’ in the system for motorists and pedestrians.”

Mayor Rick Chrest noted in an interview with the Brandon Sun that the provincial government originally promised to upgrade the aging structure during the 2013 throne speech, but the project was delayed by other needs such as urgent repairs to Brandon’s First Street Bridge.

The three-year, $65 million project, which will be consistent with the City of Brandon Pacific Avenue Extension, will expand the existing three-lane bridge with two new overpasses and a separate pedestrian bridge to enhance traffic flow.

The project will provide two travel lanes in each of the northbound and southbound directions.

There will also be new on and off ramps and some new pathways, sidewalk and pavement upgrades along the route.

Maintaining traffic throughout the project will be accomplished with staged construction and temporary movement of travel lanes. 

As well, because the overpasses are being built over the CP rail yards, the design was required to comply with CP standards for height clearances over the railway. The construction activities will be scheduled to prevent interruption to rail operations. 

Additional safety measures will be put in place when working around moving trains.

Joint-less bridge design will result in a smoother ride for cars and trucks and, along with the use of long-life reinforcing steel where allowable, reduce possible deck and barrier deterioration, reduce maintenance costs and extend the life of the structure, the government states. 

The demolition of existing buildings in the path of the project was expected to begin in January and be completed by April. It is anticipated that offline bridge construction will begin in May with traffic rerouting also beginning that month. 

The target date for completion is October 2023.

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