Marion Street corridor revamp restarts from beginning
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/06/2019 (1445 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Winnipeg city hall is taking a second run at upgrading the Marion Street corridor.
Public consultations will begin June 26, with an evening session at the Archwood Community Club. Area residents and business owners will get a chance to help set the criteria for another transportation study designed to improve the Marion corridor from Lagimodiere Boulevard to St. Mary’s Road.
Stakeholders are, however, holding their breath over the project — as they feel they were betrayed three years ago by city hall and the consulting firm that designed the mega-project that was eventually rejected.
“There’s going to be a healthy amount of skepticism because of that last time,” said Christine Trickey, founding member of the South St. Boniface Residents Association.
Three years ago, a similar study ignored residents’ wishes and promoted a mega-widening of the Marion-Archibald streets intersection that would have resulted in the expropriation and demolition of 140 properties along Marion between Youville Street and Lagimodiere to create a massive freeway-style interchange and rail line underpass.
What: Public workshop for a new Marion Street transportation study
When: June 26, 6-8 p.m.
Where: Archwood Community Club gym (565 Guilbault St.)
More info: winnipeg.ca/movingonmarion
While residents were lobbying to kill the project because of the devastating impact it would have on their neighbourhood, the project’s cost ballooned from $250 million to more than $500 million — with some civic officials predicting the final pricetag could be close to $900 million.
Council in November 2016 bowed to public pressure and cancelled the mega-project, vowing to restart the study with a more modest scope.
It’s taken more than two years to launch the second attempt. On June 26, the public will have a chance to “refine the study’s objectives, determine areas for improvement, and scope what should be included in the study,” the City of Winnipeg said Thursday in a news release.
While city council had initially approved awarding a $200,000 contract to the same consulting firm for the second go-round, the public works department thought better of the idea after talking to residents in 2017.
Brad Neirinck, Winnipeg manager of engineering, said the department concluded public cynicism was so strong, it would be best to start fresh.
“The public told us the (original) project was pre-determined… they didn’t feel they had a say in it,” Neirinck said. “That’s why we’re doing this pre-engagement now, to allow the public to tell us what they think the project should be before we hire another consultant.”
Once the pre-engagement process is complete, the department will use the info for the basis for a new request for proposal, Neirinck said, adding council approved a $917,000 budget for the consulting stage in the 2019 capital budget.
Trickey said the city’s approach to the new study gives the community hope a proper design will be put forth this time around.
“We’re cautiously optimistic,” she said.