WINNIPEG, Man. -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper, along with Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, today welcomed the completion of a new four-lane expressway in Winnipeg that will connect CentrePort Canada, Manitoba’s inland port, to the core national highway system. The expressway will be known as CentrePort Canada Way.
“Manitoba’s location at the heart of the continent is as big of an advantage today in the era of free trade as it was in the days of the fur trade,” said Selinger. “Investing now will mean jobs and opportunities for generations of Manitoba families as we continue our strong and steady economic growth.”
“Our government is committed to providing cities with the infrastructure they need to flourish,” said Harper. “I am pleased to be here today to celebrate the completion of the CentrePort Canada Way. This new expressway will increase commercial flows through Winnipeg and the region and enable the city to take advantage of the government’s unprecedented efforts to expand Canada’s market access including the recently signed agreement in principle for a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union.”
“I’d like to thank the prime minister and the premier for their leadership and vision,” said Diane Gray, president and CEO of CentrePort Canada. “The CentrePort expressway is a key building block for our inland port. We are already seeing that the new highway is helping to attract economic growth and private investment to the area and we expect its official opening will only add to the momentum.”
The CentrePort Canada Way project consists of a new 9.1-kilometre four-lane divided roadway and associated structures and interchanges. Construction began in spring 2010 and the expressway officially opens to traffic today.
The new expressway, which links to the national highway system, provides better, more efficient flows between CentrePort Canada and nearby assets such as three Class I rail carriers, an international trucking hub, Winnipeg’s James Armstrong Richardson International Airport and the rest of the country and world.
The project involves using the airport and surrounding land as a hub to import goods from Asia and Europe and distribute those goods throughout North America by air, rail and road. It will also help Canadian businesses in the region benefit from the unprecedented market access the government is creating including to the European Union, Asia and the United States.
The Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba jointly committed $212.4 million for the project. The federal contributions were made under the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative (APGCI) and under the Provincial/Territorial Base Funding Agreement.
Since 2008, the Government of Canada has contributed $168.1 million towards projects in the area Manitoba’s inland port. Through such projects, Canada is investing strategically to increase trade, create jobs, and grow the economy not only in Winnipeg and Manitoba, but across Western Canada.