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June 15, 2019

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Residents welcome Chief Peguis extension

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/7/2010 (3250 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Residents of northeast Winnipeg are thrilled recently-approved plans for the Chief Peguis Trail Extension include an underpass at Rothesay Street.

The $110-million project to extend the Chief Peguis Trail from Henderson Highway to Lagimodiere Boulevard is earning praise from residents who were outraged by previous plans calling for a street-level intersection at Rothesay Avenue.

Area resident Peter Kotyk said the underpass was a priority for most of his neighbours as well as the River East-Transcona School Division and area churches.

“Some people might say it’s a bit too much money but this is really just a prime example of doing it right the first time,” Kotyk said. “I’m in favour of it.”

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/7/2010 (3250 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Rod Giesbrecht (left) and Peter Kotyk are thrilled the Chief Peguis Trail will pass beneath Rothesay Street.

RYAN CROCKER

Rod Giesbrecht (left) and Peter Kotyk are thrilled the Chief Peguis Trail will pass beneath Rothesay Street.

Residents of northeast Winnipeg are thrilled recently-approved plans for the Chief Peguis Trail Extension include an underpass at Rothesay Street.


The $110-million project to extend the Chief Peguis Trail from Henderson Highway to Lagimodiere Boulevard is earning praise from residents who were outraged by previous plans calling for a street-level intersection at Rothesay Avenue.


Area resident Peter Kotyk said the underpass was a priority for most of his neighbours as well as the River East-Transcona School Division and area churches.


"Some people might say it’s a bit too much money but this is really just a prime example of doing it right the first time," Kotyk said. "I’m in favour of it."


George Klassen, a member of the Douglas Mennonite Church on Rothesay, said the congregation is relieved the underpass has been added to the plans. He thanked the area’s representatives in all three levels of government for lobbying on their behalf.


"This is a wise decision, not just for now, but for the future," Klassen said.


"The community didn’t want a street-level crossing. We felt it wasn’t safe."


Coun. Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan) praised area residents for convincing the city to alter previous plans. He said the underpass will ensure Rothesay remains a relatively quiet street used primarily by local residents.


"It’s so important the underpass is constructed now because it’s really hard to add one later," Browaty said.


Rod Giesbrecht, a Rothesay Street resident and trustee with the school division, said Chief Peguis School is used as a transfer point for school buses, meaning more than 3,000 pass through the area daily.


"This underpass was absolutely critical for us," he said.


"School buses and students would have had to cross the Chief Peguis Trail otherwise. Now it’s safer for everyone, even parents who drive their children to school."


Residents elsewhere in northeast Winnipeg are equally thrilled the Chief Peguis Trail Extention will relieve traffic congestion on the area’s east-west avenues.


"The reduction in traffic on Springfield Road in particular makes us very happy," Giesbrecht added.


He said several students have been struck by vehicles in the area during the last several years and the division welcomes any changes that might reduce the chances of that occurring in the future.


Browaty said Springfield carries up to 22,000 vehicles daily, more than four times the 5,000 it was designed to accomodate. He added it’s a similar situation on other east-west avenues in North Kildonan.


"Until now the trail has just been a bridge bringing east-west traffic into North Kildonan and dumping it onto residential streets," Browaty said.


"Once it’s completed, most of the through traffic will be on the Chief Peguis Trail."


However, some residents argue the roadway will sever the Northeast Pioneers Greenway.


"It’s a travesty that the active transportation design of the Chief Peguis Trail Extension will literally put more than 40,000 cars through the Northeast Pioneers Greenway," said Janice Lukes, chair of the province’s active transportation advisory board.


Lukes said the greenway is the busiest active transportation route in the province and will eventually be linked to a series of trails to be built along the Red River Floodway to Birds Hill Park.


Severing the greenway will greatly diminish the calibre of what the province hopes will be a world-class active transportation system, Luke said. She plans to meet with city council this week in a final push for a solution.


Sigrun Bailey, co-chair of the River East Neighbourhood Network’s Trail Committee, echoed Lukes’ concerns. She suggested building an overpass for pedestrians and cyclists similar to the one along the William R. Clement Parkway in Charleswood.


Bailey stressed the Chief Peguis Trail Extension is greatly needed and praised the city for including the development of the Chief Peguis Greenway in its plans. That greenway will run parallel to the roadway and merge with the Northeast Pioneer Greenway at Gateway Road.


"It will allow Northeast Pioneers Greenway users and others to get more places safely," said Bailey, citing Kildonan Park as an example.


Browaty said he’s aware some residents are concerned about the intersection of the Chief Peguis Trail and Gateway, but added an overpass for pedestrians and cyclists can be added later relatively easily. He said the city has enough land to replace the intersection with entry and exit ramps in the future as well.


He said work on the Chief Peguis Trail Extension, which will include the widening of all intersections along Gateway Road as far south as McLeod Avenue, is expected to start in the spring of 2011.

ryan.crocker@canstarnews.com

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