Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

City repairing St. Mary's sinkhole

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The days are numbered for Winnipeg's latest infrastructure embarrassment, the Sinkhole of St. Vital.

On Wednesday, a sedan-sized sinkhole emerged on St. Mary's Road, near Morier Avenue. The resulting barricade led to rush-hour traffic delays for one day.

On Thursday, City of Winnipeg public works director Brad Sacher said the hole should be patched up no later than next week. He attributed the sinkhole to a sewer-line leak that washed out the aggregate below the pavement. By afternoon, the line had been fixed and the hole had been filled. A resurfacing awaits.

Civic Centre celebrated

Winnipeg's Civic Centre complex, one of the largest collection of mid-century modernist buildings in Western Canada, is 50 years old.

On Thursday, Mayor Sam Katz presided over a ceremony lauding the vision of Green Blankstein Russell, the architectural firm responsible for designing city hall's council building, courtyard and administrative building.

The complex was criticized upon completion in 1964 for being a departure from the neo-classical design of the city's previous "gingerbread" city hall. It has since come to be appreciated for its clean lines.

"Architecture is an art, and not all art will please everyone -- but it will get them talking," Katz said.

He also apologized to the surviving architects for failing to maintain the Civic Centre Parkade, which was shuttered in 2012 due to structural problems and will be demolished after the Winnipeg Police Service vacates the Public Safety Building for the new police headquarters on Graham Avenue.

Frozen-pipe estimate late

City hall will take another month to come up with an estimated cost for the frozen-waterline problem that plagued thousands of Winnipeg properties this winter and spring.

On Thursday, council's finance committee hoped to receive some form of indication of the cost of attempting to thaw frozen pipes, hook up frozen-out homes and businesses to neighbouring properties and run water for free in homes at risk of having frozen pipes or where water service had been restored.

City officials asked for another month to prepare the estimate, citing the complexity of compiling overtime costs for workers in various city departments, water usage and equipment costs.

Charleswood-Tuxedo Coun. Paula Havixbeck estimated the cost in the $10-million range, but finance chairman Russ Wyatt (Transcona) and Mayor Sam Katz said they will wait to see what the administration comes up with in June.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 16, 2014 B2

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