Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Province details road-fixing plans
A day after announcing a percentage-point increase in the PST to support infrastructure spending, the province detailed its plans this morning to improve provincial and city roads.
At a news conference at an asphalt plant on Brookside Boulevard, Premier Greg Selinger said the province would double its investment -- to $42 million -- over three years to repair potholes and improve Winnipeg city streets.
He also said his government plans to invest a record $622 million in province’s bridges and highways budget this year, including funding to repair those damaged by flooding in 2011.
"That’s a dramatic increase," Selinger said. "There’s also up to $100 million in total for various forms of flood protection this year as well."
As well, it announced $21 million over the next three years for a new Municipal Roads Improvement Fund, to which municipalities outside Winnipeg can apply for up to 50 per cent of the cost of new incremental municipal road projects.
The government also said it would provide more than $3.5 billion in funding for municipal infrastructure through its Building Manitoba Fund over the next 10 years.
"We will show every year what we spent that money on and show that the money we spent is equal to the money we raised," Selinger said.
As part of the investment, the province has set aside funds for two new cost-shared programs:
- $25 million this year in a new Urban Highway Fund, which will enable municipalities to prioritize investments in provincial highways that affect their municipalities; and
- $25 million this year in a new Commercial Infrastructure Fund, which will assist resource industries and municipalities with cost-shared improvements such as increased loading for heavy truck traffic.
Selinger committed to providing industry with updates to Manitoba's multi-year highway project planning every two years and to work closely with industry to keep improving the way projects are tendered to increase productivity and lower costs.
Updated on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 9:53 PM CDT: corrects number
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