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New highway speeds up trucking
Truck traffic heading west from CentrePort Canada won’t be held up by trains along the CP main line now that CentrePort Canada Way is open.
After over three years of construction work that cost about $212.4 million, the new, 9.1-kilometre, four-lane divided roadway — which officially opened Nov. 22 — connects the inland port with the West Perimeter. Plans are being made to further extend the highway with a bypass around Headingley.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper joined Premier Greg Selinger and CentrePort Canada CEO Diane Gray at the ribbon-cutting on Nov. 22.
Gray said time is money for truckers, and CentrePort Canada Way will allow them to save on fuel costs, as they can enter and leave the city faster.
"Trucks don’t have to travel through residential streets in Winnipeg," she said.
Rosedale Group, an international company that specializes in transportation, storage and distribution of flooring materials, moved into its new building at 123 Wheatfield Road in 2011.
Regional manager Chris Lerm said the company chose the location because of its proximity to what is now CentrePort Canada Way.
"It’s going to make it easier for our westbound and southbound trucks to reach the Perimeter," he said.
He said company drivers sometimes complained about waiting for trains to pass on the CP main line which runs across Inkster Boulevard — the route that was previously used to connect to the Perimeter — but the new highway alleviates this problem.
Gray said the next step in CentrePort’s development is the construction of a common-use rail facility that will be shared by the three main rail companies operating in the area: CN, CP and Burlington Northern & Santa Fe.
On Sept. 23, the provincial government and CentrePort Canada signed an agreement to transfer 747 acres of land, with 667 acres located south of CP Rail’s main line and west of CentrePort Canada Way. The engineering work was recently completed, and Gray expects construction to start by mid-2014.
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