Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION
Plessis underpass project moving forward
Lengthy delays caused by trains crossing Plessis and Dugald roads could soon be a thing of the past in south Transcona.
The three levels of government announced last week that a $77-million dollar underpass project will be considered a priority under the major infrastructure component of the Building Canada Fund.
The city will provide $27 million, the province will supply $25 million, and the federal government has committed up to $25 million which is conditional upon a review of the project.
As part of the project, a bi-directional rail bridge will be built along with the widening and reconstruction of Plessis between Pandora Avenue and Dugald.
An active transportation route will also be included with the construction of pedestrian and bicycle lanes. In addition, Dugald will be lowered to accommodate the underpass.
Construction is scheduled to begin next year and is expected to be completed within two years.
Steve Mymko, facility manager of Buhler Recreation Park, said he has supported the project all along because it will improve traffic flow and provide improved safety measures for individuals visiting the park.
"It will move emergency vehicles quicker. People have been injured at the park and we’re waiting 25 minutes for an ambulance because of trains," he said.
"You’re always happy for everything, but you don’t believe it until shovels are in the ground."
Coun. Russ Wyatt (Transcona), who has been lobbying for the underpass project for several years, said it will be a boon for the area.
"It will be a major amenity for the community. When a train crosses it is a nightmare, and it gets all backed up," Wyatt said.
"There was a great grassroots effort to see this happen."
Wendy Galagan, executive director of Transcona BIZ, said the new underpass will be a benefit to residents, and businesses in the area.
"This is a really big industrial artery into Transcona," Galagan said. "This will benefit the community and businesses."
Radisson MLA Bidhu Jha said the project is a good example of what can happen when all three levels of government work together.
"We’ve been talking for a long time about the northeast of the city," Jha said. "It took a little bit of time but it is getting done."
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