Manitoba investing $1.5 billion in to improve province's highways

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The Manitoba government is investing $1.5 million into the province’s highway network.

Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Doyle Piwniuk announced the funding in a news release on Thursday, noting the investment will go toward a three-year plan focused on highways.

The province noted that the three-year investment plan has an annual commitment of $500 million.

The minister added that the province is investing about $233 million into projects that are part of the trade and commerce strategy. Manitoba has also outlined a number of projects for the Perimeter Highway over the next three years that total more than $346 million.

“Our government recognizes targeted investments in roadways and bridges are foundational to our economic growth and the quality of life for all Manitobans,” Piwniuk said.

“Advancing our highway network will enable market access for international, interprovincial and regional movement of goods, and will position our province to become a national transportation hub.”

One of Manitoba’s key initiatives in this three-year plan is the Manitoba Trade and Commerce Grid, aimed at upgrading highway networks to allow heavier loads on the highways.

Another top priority is the Winnipeg One Million Perimeter Highway Freeway Initiative, which has a goal of creating a safer and more efficient Perimeter Highway. Some of the projects that are part of this initiative include construction of a new interchange at the Perimeter and St. Mary’s Road, as well as the design and beginning phases of a second new interchange at the Perimeter and McGillivray Boulevard.

Chris Lorenc, president of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association, said he is pleased about this three-year capital program for highways.

“When industry can plan ahead, the province gets the best value for its annual budgets,” he said in the news release.

“The multi-year budgets and increasing investment levels are a strong sign the provincial government and Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure recognize the critical role transportation infrastructure plays in economic growth.”

As part of the 2022 budget, the Manitoba government committed $2.4 billion to infrastructure funding.