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Communities worried about increased truck traffic from proposed Manitoba mine

The Canadian Press
Communities worried about increased truck traffic from proposed Manitoba mine

WINNIPEG — Some community leaders are raising safety concerns about a proposed mine north of Winnipeg due to the amount of truck traffic it would generate.

If the Canadian Premium Sand’s project is approved, trucks carrying silica sand could make nearly 100 trips to and from Winnipeg each day.

The plan is to wash and dry the sand before it’s shipped to Alberta, where it will be used for fracking oil and gas.

The company wants to truck the product on highways 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

The Rural Municipality of Alexander and the Hollow Water First Nation are worried about all the truck traffic that would travel on highways 304 and 59.

Jack Brisco, reeve of the RM of Alexander, says the roads south of the proposed mine where people live and go to the lake are old, narrow and windy.

“When you have more traffic on the highway, you have more risk,” Brisco said.

“We want to make sure the highways are looked after and maintained and are able to support that kind of traffic.”

He says the mine could be a big boost to the local economy but people want safe highways.

Hollow Water First Nation Chief Larry Barker says more traffic is a big concern.

Canadian Premium Sand says it is working with the Manitoba government about the roads.

“To identify those areas that are the priorities to make sure we are contributing to whatever fixes, so the roads can be safe for not only trucks but for the rest of the community,” said Bronwyn Weaver, a company spokeswoman.

The province says the company’s environment act proposal for the mine is being reviewed but didn’t provide information on when the government will make its decision.

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