The plan to twin Molson Street and Panet Road got a boost from the province of Manitoba on May 30.
At a press conference, Premier Greg Selinger announced $5 million in funding for the project, which will add lanes to the Molson-Panet thoroughfare from Munroe Avenue to just past Concordia Avenue. The city of Winnipeg approved $7.4 million in funding as part of its 2013 capital budget, but Elmwood-East Kildonan Coun. Thomas Steen explained that figure was just an estimate.
The city and province reached an agreement to split the cost of the $10-million project evenly. The provincial money is coming from the Manitoba Building and Renewal Plan announced in April’s budget.
Concordia MLA Matt Wiebe said the 1% PST increase coming into effect July 1 will go into the plan to fund twinning and other similar projects.
"We are going to be accountable for every dollar," he said.
This funding is separate from $19 million the province is allocating to repairing urban streets, including $14 million in Winnipeg.
"It’s a project we know has been a priority for the neighbourhood for a long time," Wiebe said. "I grew up in the neighbourhood, and even when I was a young person, Molson has always been something that was a priority for the community."
Steen said he was caught a little off-guard by the additional funding, but was glad to see it coming.
"We’re very grateful that this project is happening. It’s very exciting," he said on May 31.
In addition to Molson Street and Panet Road, the province also announced funding for:
• Watt Street from Sydney Avenue to Bronx Avenue;
• Brazier Street from Jamison Avenue to Donalda Avenue;
• Dunrobin Avenue from Raleigh Street to Golspie Street;
• Fraser’s Grove from Henderson Highway to Woodvale Street;
• Kildare Avenue from Brewster Street to Plessis Road;
• Walden Crescent from Blue Heron Crescent to Victoria Avenue East;
• Grandview Street from Irving Place to Henderson Highway; and
• Irving Place from Henderson Highway to Grandview Street.
Wiebe said while he and fellow MLA Erna Braun (Rossmere) saw the Molson and Panet twinning as a priority, the city of Winnipeg was able to decide on how to spend the money for residential roads.
"They have free rein in terms of what they’re able to prioritize," he said.