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City preparing Main Street road revamp later this summer

City council is planning a major infrastructure repair around south Main Street this summer, starting near the intersection with Fourth Avenue.
Road closed sign.

City council is planning a major infrastructure repair around south Main Street this summer, starting near the intersection with Fourth Avenue and heading north toward the Canada Post office. The project will be the City’s biggest road and infrastructure repair project this year, as laid out in the City’s recently released proposed budget.

The City’s road repair budget this year is small in comparison to past years - $425,000 has been budgeted for road repairs, about the same as was budgeted last year but far more than the $230,910 the City ended up spending - but money devoted to the Main Street project will come out of the City’s capital projects budget, not its road repair budget.

The project would cover as much as 150 metres of road uptown. The road at the intersection of Main Street and Fourth Avenue includes several severe bumps affecting traffic in all directions and water and sewer pipes underneath the road also need replacing, said councillors and executive staff members.

“One of the large projects we’re going to do this season is on Main Street - by the corner at the Co-op building and the dental clinic. That whole area is going to be done,” said councillor Alison Dallas-Funk.

Any project in that area comes with an added level of red tape, though that could play to the City’s advantage in keeping costs low. Main Street is considered a Manitoba provincial highway, meaning approvals for the project need to be looped through Winnipeg, but also meaning that the province would pay for costs to tear up and resurface the road - the City would only need to foot the bill for infrastructure underneath the road.

“There will be a lot of rerouting because that is a provincial highway and provincial highways will be involved with upgrading and fixing the road there,” said Dallas-Funk.

“The road is their responsibility - the paving of the road, that’s provincial highway, but the maintenance underneath, the sewer and the water lines, those are our responsibility. If the lines are old and caving in and not working and it’s creating an issue, that becomes our issue. That said, there’s nothing said yet what they’ll cover and what they won’t.”

Dallas-Funk said the work would begin in July, following the Trout Festival - traffic in the area would be rerouted while the work takes place.

“We are ripping the road up there, it’s going to be closed. That whole section is going to be opened up and repaired properly,” she said.

“We’ve already been in conversation with them - I believe it’s going to start right after the Trout Festival so we’re not impeding anything on Main Street.”

The City is also planning to almost double the amount of money it spends on road repair in next year’s forecasted budget, going from $425,000 to $800,000. Despite the road itself being a provincial responsibility, City officials don’t expect it will end up being paved again by the winter break - the plan is to pave the road again next year, with more money and time devoted to the project, leaving that area unpaved over the winter, likely meaning a temporary dirt or gravel road.

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