Americanstyle Interstate model proposed for busy Manitoba highway

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government is looking at turning a busy but aging roadway around Winnipeg’s south side into a freeway.The province is hiring an engineering consultant to investigate transforming the south Perimeter Highway into a thoroughfare featuring overpasses, ramps, loops and service roads for highway access.The design will also include plans for a potential bypass around the south-end St. Norbert neighbourhood.The study will take two years to complete, but the province hasn’t said how much it will cost.Infrastructure Minister Blaine Pedersen said last November that the province was studying the highway’s future because it’s nearing the end of its life cycle.The previous NDP government had promised a St. Norbert bypass and the removal of traffic lights from the southern leg of the highway.Pedersen said Tuesday that the plan is to convert the Perimeter it into a modern freeway “similar to American Interstate standards.”“It (the highway) was built 50 years ago. The city has expanded a lot, trade has expanded a lot. We need to know where we need to be for the next 50 years,” he told reporters.Terry Shaw, a spokesman for the Manitoba Trucking Association, said while trade and environmental factors are important considerations, the study should also take accident prevention into account.“Number one is road safety. Any time we create opportunities for vehicles not to interact is a good thing.” (CTV Winnipeg, CJOB) read more