Manitoba budget contains infrastructure spending

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WINNIPEG, Man. — Manitoba is experiencing a building boom not only with housing, but also with ongoing expansion and upgrades to its highways and bridges, said Finance Minister Greg Selinger, during this week’s 2008 provincial budget announcement

The Minister recalled that two years ago, the Manitoba government announced an “unprecedented” $4 billion, 10-year program to modernize highways and bridges across the province. The first five-year phase is under way, with funding now approved for key routes: including the Trans-Canada Highway, the Perimeter Highway, and Highways 75, 6, 10, 16, and 59.

“In all, 1,300 kilometres of roadway, have work planned for this fiscal year,” said Selinger.

Total funding for this year’s road and highway (including preservation) upgrades and expansion is $415 million. That funding will include engineering work on the overpass at Highway 16 and the Trans-Canada Highway, located near the Saskatchewan border.

“The completed overpass will reduce delays, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve safety,” said Selinger.

Under this same budget allotment for roads and highways, the Manitoba provincial government has designated $9 million for winter road work, and $15 million as a first installment, out of a total of $125 million planned for increase inspections, maintenance and rehabilitation of provincial bridges.

The provincial 2008 transportation plan is intended to be comprehensive and collaborative. “Our province’s extensive network of highways and railways coupled with our international airport and deep water seaport, represent a significant competitive advantage for Manitoba business,” said Selinger. “With the help of the new Manitoba International Gateway Council (transportation strategic organization), we will continue to work with the private sector and other levels of government to promote Manitoba as a transportation and distribution gateway to the world.”

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