Last year, Molson Street had the dubious honour of being voted as one of the Top 5 in CAA Manitoba’s Worst Roads campaign.
It wasn’t a surprise to those of us who use Molson every day. The street was in deplorable condition: it was full of potholes, it was dangerous, and it didn’t serve the needs of our growing community. After all, the street hadn’t been significantly redeveloped since it served as Highway 59.
Last year the city laid asphalt over a portion of Molson and this helped address the immediate issue of potholes. However, the larger problems plaguing the road, including traffic capacity, safety and drainage, were left unaddressed.
Now, with provincial support, work is ready to begin on a proper redevelopment of Molson between Munroe Avenue and Kimberly Avenue. The province has committed to funding half of the estimated $10 million upgrade. Work is scheduled to begin this summer and includes the addition of separate left-turn lanes and right-turn cutoffs at Molson’s intersection with Concordia Avenue to help with traffic flow, bike lanes in both directions, landscaping and improved land drainage. The project is slated to be completed in 2014.
Plans for the second phase of construction, from Kimberly to Grassie Boulevard, have also been released by the city. The second phase would include provisions for parking and a multi-use walking trail (which will connect to the larger trail network on Chief Peguis Trail and beyond), and for vehicular traffic would connect to the new round-about at Grassie. The province is committed to contributing to this phase of the project as well.
I believe that now is the time to move forward on this second phase, in addition to completing the upgrades that will soon be under way.
With elected officials from all levels of government working together, I’m confident that we can prioritize this important project.