With Winnipeg turning in to a major trade route, the province of Manitoba has invested $200 million towards upgrading the Perimeter Highway.
"It’s essential that we reinvent ourselves as a major transportation hub in the middle of the continent," Selinger said. "It expands the opportunities from Churchill down to CentrePort, into the United States down Highway 75. We have some of the largest trucking companies in Canada operating out of Manitoba and we also have three major railways that connect in Manitoba… and a brand-new airport."
This funding is in addition to the $212 million provided to the 9.1-kilometre CentrePort Canada Way connecting Inkster Boulevard and the Perimeter. The express route was officially opened by Prime Minister Stephen Harper Nov. 22. The improvements will also add on to the $215 million committed on Nov. 13 by the province to the Highway 75 project.
"This investment will complete that (and) improve the Perimeter with an interchange at McGillivray Boulevard, which will allow much safer traffic there," Selinger said. "All of these are strategic investments in highway infrastructure."
Selinger said improving the highways will boost the Manitoba economy and ease congestion in southwest Winnipeg.
"(It will) allow us to effectively deliver goods and services to the major American marketplace which is still two-thirds of our trade," Selinger said. "It will also reduce congestion in the southwest Winnipeg part of the city where there are very strong growing neighbourhoods."
With the improvements, Selinger said the highway will become interstate-level.
"So it will be at the same level of quality as we see across the border," Selinger said. "So we’re all on the same page in terms of the quality of infrastructure that we have."
Selinger said the project will create approximately 2,200 jobs for Manitobans.