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This article was published 18/11/2010 (3257 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Six out of 36 bike-and-pedestrian projects planned for Winnipeg this year will have to wait until 2011 to be completed, as the city's active-transportation upgrade has wrapped up for the winter.
The City of Winnipeg planned to spend $20.4 million this year on the active-transportation infrastructure-stimulus program funded by all three levels of government.
The program effectively ended this week, when sub-zero weather closed the construction season, senior project manager Bill Woroby said Thursday in an interview.
"Basically, everything is going to be shut down, because it's getting too cold to make concrete," he said.
Eighteen out of 36 active-transportation projects have been completed and another 12 are "substantially complete" because they only require landscaping work to be finished next year, Woroby said. Warmer-than-average weather this fall allowed some of the work to come in under the wire.
But it will take an additional two months in the spring of 2011 to complete the remaining six projects — provided the city can convince Ottawa to allow an extension.
Under the terms of the infrastructure-stimulus agreement, all the active-transportation work was supposed to be finished before the end of March.
"There's still some work to be done," said Woroby, referring to six projects that were not completed — and in some cases, not started — due to public consultations and property negotiations that took longer than expected.
Prior to 2010, the city had never conducted more than $4.4 million worth of active-transportation work in a single year. The city attempted to spend five times as much money this year in an effort to add 102 kilometres of bike-and-pedestrian routes to the city's existing 274-kilometre network.
While the construction industry had the capacity to do the work, the public consultations and property negotiations required proved impossible to conduct in one year.
A bridge over Omand's Creek was scrapped after a public meeting and then replaced with trail improvements that then could not be completed due to negotiations with CN Rail, Woroby said.
Concerns from businesses delayed the Sherbrook/Maryland, Ellice/St. Matthews and McDermot/Bannatyne bikeways, while dedicated trails planned along the Seine River and Lagimodiere Boulevard were delayed due to property negotiations, Woroby added.
St. Boniface Coun. Dan Vandal, city council's public works chairman, said he remains optimistic Ottawa will allow the six remaining projects to be finished in 2011. Federal officials have promised to be "fair and reasonable" about such a request.
In September, Woroby said the city should not again attempt to build so many active-transportation projects in a single year. Several of the completed projects, most notably downtown's Assiniboine Bikeway and new bike lanes and traffic circles on Grosvenor Avenue in River Heights, were the subject of intense opposition. A lawsuit against the Assiniboine project is still crawling through the courts.
As a result, Mayor Sam Katz made an election-campaign promise to improve the city's public consultation efforts.
Six more to go
Active-transportation projects planned for this year that won't be completed until 2011:
1. Omand Park: A $1-million bridge over Omand's Creek was cancelled due to community opposition. That's been replaced with $100,000 worth of trail improvements, which were not completed due to property negotiations with CN Rail. One month of work required in 2011.
2. Bannatyne/McDermot Bikeway: A section between Waterfront Drive and Rorie Street delayed due to additional consultations with property owners. One month of work required in 2011. The total project cost is $250,000.
3. Seine River Trail: This $250,000 trail could not get built due to a delay in obtaining easements from property owners. Six to eight weeks of work will be required in 2011.
4. Sherbrook/Maryland bike lanes: This $228,000 project was delayed due to construction in the West End and then another round of public consultations. Six to eight weeks of work will be required in 2011.
5. Ellice/St. Matthews Bikeway: This $400,000 project was delayed because it is connected to the Sherbrook/Maryland project. It requires six to eight weeks of work in 2011.
6. Lagimodiere Trail: Delayed this year because of negotiations with Manitoba Hydro. Two months of work required in 2011, mainly because crews must build a crossing over a drainage ditch. The total project cost is $700,000.
Source: City of Winnipeg