The province will restore the fountain at Memorial Park and rehab a section of Memorial Boulevard it owns as part of $45 million in infrastructure projects to mark the province's 150th birthday celebrations.

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The province will restore the fountain at Memorial Park and rehab a section of Memorial Boulevard it owns as part of $45 million in infrastructure projects to mark the province's 150th birthday celebrations.

The first round of projects under the program was announced Tuesday at a news conference in Memorial Park.

All components of the downtown Winnipeg park have reached the end of their serviceable life, including the fountain, which requires mechanical, electrical and structural upgrades, according to an engineering report. The province also plans to improve lighting, seating and signage around the fountain.

Memorial Park, adjacent to Memorial Boulevard, consists of five acres of land just north of the Manitoba Legislative Building. The portion of the boulevard south of York Avenue is owned by the province, while the rest is owned by the city.

The projects announced across the province Tuesday include those supporting trade, commerce and tourism, as well as improving public safety, roads and drainage.

"These projects... will leave a lasting legacy for all Manitobans to enjoy," Premier Brian Pallister said.

The fountain in Memorial Park is a good place to cool down on a hot day, but it has reached the end of its serviceable life. (Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press files)</p>

The fountain in Memorial Park is a good place to cool down on a hot day, but it has reached the end of its serviceable life. (Trevor Hagan / Winnipeg Free Press files)

No estimates for the fountain restoration or the Memorial Boulevard roadwork will be provided before the tendering process is completed.

The $45 million in infrastructure funding set aside to mark the province's sesquicentennial celebrations is on top of $350 million earmarked in the 2019 budget for highway road construction and repairs, he said.

Among the projects to be approved in the initial phase of the program are road improvements in Whiteshell Provincial Park and Turtle Mountain Provincial Park.

Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont questioned why routine infrastructure projects as gravel-road restoration, new paved shoulders at intersections and drainage work are to be included among the celebratory projects.

"Nothing brings people together like an intersection, Madame Speaker. And who doesn't love drainage? I know it's a passion for many Manitobans," he said in the legislature.

More appropriate projects for celebrating the 150th anniversary of the province would be to refurbish some of Manitoba's cultural institutions, such as the Centennial Concert Hall and the Manitoba Museum, Lamont said.

The province wants the projects to be completed by next year.

larry.kusch@freepress.mb.ca

Larry Kusch

Larry Kusch
Legislature reporter

Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.

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