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This article was published 22/11/2013 (2807 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper officially opened the $212-million CentrePort Canada Way highway this morning.
The 9.1-kilometre four-lane expressway will provide a much more efficient route for truck traffic in and out of the city that’s concentrated in the area.
The highway connects the west Perimeter Highway with Inkster Boulevard.
Harper made the announcement at Fort Garry Fire Trucks’s newly built manufacturing facility on the CentrePort footprint.
CentrePort officials said the highway is a much needed piece of infrastructure to aid in the industrial development that is being promoted at CentrePort, the 20,000 acre inland port north and east of the Winnipeg airport.
More than 60 per cent of the city’s trucking industry is located in the area and trucking industry officials say that the new expressway will save money and will be a much safer route for trucking activity in and out of the city.
The 90 km/h expressway will partly replace the two-lane Inkster Boulevard west of Brookside Boulevard that currently handles about 3,000 trucks per day.
Diane Gray the CEO of CentrePort said the new expressway has the capacity to handle thousands more.
She said it is a crucial piece of infrastructure that was needed to go along with a common-use rail facility that is in the conceptual planning stages.
The province recently transferred 302 hectares of land to CentrePort for it to develop the rail facility that is expected to attract rail-intensive industry to the area.
A Headingley by-pass and an eastern extension eventually linking CentrePort Canada Way with Chief Peguis Trail have been planned but there is no firm date as to when those externsions will be added.
Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.