This spring will be a busy year of construction and improvements to the infrastructure in Winnipeg. Earlier this year we passed our five year capital budget which will see an investment of $2.6 billion over the next few years.
Of that investment, $464.7 million will be specifically dedicated to streets and bridges, with $109.1 million dollars earmarked in 2013 alone. This budget also increased the local street investments from $21.65 million in 2012 to over $35 million in 2013, a 66% increase.
While these much-needed investments have been undertaken, we have been able to maintain our city’s excellent credit rating.
Northeast Winnipeg has seen a substantial share of these infrastructure dollars flowing into our area. Projects such as the recently completed Chief Peguis Trail, the soon to be completed Disraeli Overpass and walk and bike bridge, and the Plessis Road underpass represents a recognition of the importance of this corner of the city, which hasn’t always been the case.
I think it also shows the willingness of all elected officials in the area to work together to improve the area.
Recent projects that have been approved for the Elmwood-East Kildonan area is the much needed twinning of Molson Street. This has been one of my top priorities since being elected, and I am very pleased that I was able to successfully lobby city administration to set aside $7.4 million to complete this phase of the project.
While part of Molson received an overlay, I am working closely with MLA Matt Wiebe (Concordia) and MP Lawrence Toet (Elmwood Transcona) to determine how we can find the financing to complete the last phase of this project and bring this section of Molson to the same standard as the rest of the street. I know that they are as committed as I am to getting this done as quickly as possible.
There are two other major capital projects that will be coming to the area in the next few years. Money has been set aside for the conceptual design, preliminary design, and public consultation, to look at whether the Louise Bridge can be a rehabilitated or if a replacement of the bridge is required.
The other major capital project for the area will be the East Yards complex at the former Elmwood/Nairn landfill site. The city is making over a $49 million investment to consolidate its operations for the east side of the Red River at this location.