Province tabs new $7.5M for Winnipeg road repair
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As Winnipeg drivers navigate streets cracked up by seasonal potholes, the province is once again promising millions of dollars in road repair assistance.
The Manitoba government announced it will give the City of Winnipeg an extra $7.5 million this year (beyond previously announced city funding) to support pothole repair and route restoration.
“Just this morning, I was driving my son to his grandparents (for) child care and I hit a number of potholes coming in… We know that the city’s road surfaces and pavement have suffered significantly after the 2022 winter season and the (start of the) 2023 spring defrost,” Municipal Relations Minister Andrew Smith said during a news conference Friday.
The pledge comes after the province provided the civic government $8.9 million last year to tackle routes riddled with potholes.
Coun. Janice Lukes, public works committee chairwoman and deputy mayor, said the funds are clearly needed again.
As of Friday, the city has already filled 17,683 potholes in 2023, according to public works data. With months of patching left to go, Lukes said thousands of additional vehicle-rattling crevices will be addressed.
“The freeze-thaw cycle in spring wreaks havoc on our roads, so we really appreciate this additional funding… to fill those very large cavities,” she said.
Last year, potholes triggered plenty of headlines, as the city struggled to keep up with extensive damage caused by abnormally high precipitation and repeated freeze-thaw cycles.
When asked if the province would commit to permanently devoting millions of dollars per year to fund Winnipeg pothole repairs, rather than making individual announcements, Smith said: “Stay tuned.”
The minister said the funding was announced early this year to help the city get ahead on plans for the upcoming construction season.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.