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Steeves would freeze new city-only infrastructure spending for five years

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Winnipeg mayoral candidate Gord Steeves has promised to freeze spending on new infrastructure projects that are not funded with the help of other levels of government.

On Friday morning, the Steeves campaign issued a package of infrastructure promises that included a pledge for a five-year freeze on spending on any project that isn’t already approved by city council — with the exception of those paid for in part by Broadway or Ottawa.

"All infrastructure not included in the presently approved council budget will not be brought forward without a life-cycle cost business case," Steeves said.

Steeves said this move is intended to prevent members of council from announcing infrastructure projects that were not contemplated by city staff in the midst of election years.

He also promised to commit 75 per cent of regional road projects to evening-and-weekend construction.

Council has attempted to direct Winnipeg’s public works department to more road repairs after business hours for years, with only limited results. This is partly due to safety concerns associated with work after dark and the limited capacity of the Winnipeg construction industry.

Steeves said he could help improve this capacity by ensuring capital projects are tendered earlier — something fellow mayoral candidate Paula Havixbeck has also pledged to do.

Steeves also promised to commit $421,000 to a two-week pothole-repair blitz and create a working group with Ottawa and Broadway to better align infrastructure-funding priorities.

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Updated on Friday, July 4, 2014 at 11:48 AM CDT: updates story

4:48 PM: clarifies headline

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