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This article was published 13/4/2015 (1679 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
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An extensive road repair work campaign is about to be unleashed on Winnipeg.
City council authorized the spending of $103 million to repair local and regional streets and alleys — a record amount for Winnipeg.
"People wanted roads — they’re getting roads," Coun. Janice Lukes, chairwoman of the public works committee, said. "They’re getting more road than they’ve ever had before. There’s never been more than $100 million spent on roads before.
"It’s going to be non-stop, 20 per cent more than last year."
Lukes (St. Norbert) said most of the tenders have been issued and the work will begin as soon as the frost is out of the ground.
The city will spend $62 million on local streets and another $41 million on regional streets. Last year, $48.9 million was spent on local streets and $35 million on regional streets.
"People are getting more roads than they’ve ever wanted," Lukes said.
The streets that will be repaired were chosen based on criteria set out by the public works department, with some input from councillors.
In addition to the street work, sidewalk reconstruction will also be done where needed along with recreational walkways and bike pathway renewals.
Lukes said there will not be extended construction hours, as is done in some other municipalities, adding the department argued it causes too much disruption to residents.
"Summers here are so short, the people don’t want to be living 24/7 with construction on their streets," she said.
If any individual street project comes under budget, the savings will be pooled and applied to additional roadwork.
Lukes admitted the city has an ambitious roadwork plan, adding while the industry has said they can do the work, how much actually gets done is heavily dependent on the weather and the onset of winter.
For streets slated for major reconstruction, Lukes said water and works staff will examine the condition of the underground sewer and water pipes and if necessary pipe repairs or replacements will be co-ordinated with the roadwork.
"If they’ve got (the street opened up), they’re going to do the pipe work if it needs it," Lukes said. "You don’t want to build a brand new road and have to go down and do the pipes again."
Aldo Santin is a veteran newspaper reporter who first carried a pen and notepad in 1978 and joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 1986, where he has covered a variety of beats and specialty areas including education, aboriginal issues, urban and downtown development. Santin has been covering city hall since 2013.
Updated on Monday, April 13, 2015 at 8:30 PM CDT: Fixed spelling of roadwork