Manitoba boosts highway spending

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WINNIPEG, Man. – Manitoba highways will get a $227.5 million boost this year, according to the recently announced provincial budget.

“The Manitoba government has increased the provincial capital budget for road construction by $16 million over last year to maintain Manitoba’s competitive edge in transportation,” said Transportation Minister, Ron Lemieux at a roadside announcement. “The importance of a modern, safe and efficient transportation network to the growth and prosperity of our communities is demonstrated every day across Manitoba. For 2006-07, we are committing a further $93.3 million to capital construction projects as Manitoba moves to create an effective long-term construction plan.”

The program includes an additional $4 million to be spent on maintenance and preservation. The province has also increased the winter roads operating budget to $6.1 million, including an additional $1 million for capital improvements. The 2005/06 construction season will see $106.2 million dedicated towards infrastructure renewal and a continuation of the twinning of the Trans-Canada Hwy. from Virden to the Saskatchewan border. PTH 83 is also being twinned to the Saskatchewan border and those lanes are expected to open by the end of ’06.

“Maintaining Manitoba’s vast transportation network is a tremendous challenge,” added Lemieux. “The task requires a positive commitment of resources and long-term strategic planning to protect its role in our economy. And since 1999, we have been listening to Manitobans and their needs have been reflected in our increasing investments in the province’s transportation network.”

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