WINNIPEG - Premier Gary Doer and Mayor Sam Katz have finally made it official: the Disraeli Freeway won't be closed for 16 months when the aging roadway is repaired next year.

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This article was published 7/10/2009 (4615 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The aging Disraeli Freeway will undergo major repairs.

RUTH.BONNEVILLE@FREEPRESS.MB.CA / FILE PHOTO

The aging Disraeli Freeway will undergo major repairs.

WINNIPEG - Premier Gary Doer and Mayor Sam Katz have finally made it official: the Disraeli Freeway won't be closed for 16 months when the aging roadway is repaired next year.

Standing below a rusty span of the 1.1-kilometre freeway, the premier committed to adding $53.3 million to the city's road-building budget over 10 years to help Winnipeg conduct a Disraeli rehabiliation that will be more expensive than a $140 million repair job that would have seen the link between Elmwood and Point Douglas close.

The mayor and premier could not say precisely what the new cost of the bridge will be, nor could they say for certain whether the new repair plan will involve a brand-new bridge or some form of two-stage rehabilitation.

The city has received three bids and will choose one before the end of the year, Katz said. Only then will Winnipeggers learn the precise nature of the new rehabilitation plan.

The possibility of a total closure of this vital infrastructure for up to 16 months as proposed in the original $140-million rehabilitation plan was a major concern for the residents and businesses of Elmwood, and East and North Kildonan, said Premier Gary Doer.

"Today’s commitment will allow traffic concerns to be minimized during construction and will provide benefits that will last for decades into the future."

The province’s commitment to the project today means, not only will active transportation be an integral part of the selected process, but the goal of minimizing traffic disruption during construction will be achieved, said Doer.

The provincial funding will also contribute towards options with design lives of 75 years, ensuring that today’s investment has long-lasting benefits for the citizens of Winnipeg, the premier added.

 

 

"As mayor, I have worked hard to fix our crumbling roads and bridges and meet the priorities of our citizens," said Mayor Sam Katz.

"I have stated emphatically the need to minimize traffic disruption for Winnipeggers. Today’s announcement will result in ensuring we are addressing our infrastructure needs while reducing the impact any closure would have on the citizens of northeast Winnipeg."

"I have always insisted the province is willing and committed to be part of the solution to this infrastructure challenge."

More than 42,000 vehicles per day access the Disraeli Freeway. The construction on the project is anticipated to begin in 2010.