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Manitoba planning to make flooded highways history

WINNIPEG, Man. -- April showers have dampened the effectiveness of Manitoba's transportation network keeping more t...

WINNIPEG, Man. — April showers have dampened the effectiveness of Manitoba’s transportation network keeping more than 20 stretches of highway closed due to flooding for nearly two weeks.

Detours are forcing traffic off the province’s main thoroughfare to the U.S. and high waters have closed down the Hwy. 30 border crossing at Gretna and Neche, N.D.

As crews work around the clock to ease the burden of the flooded roadways, Premier Gary Doer already has thoughts for preventing similar occurrences in the future.

“Hwy. 75 at Morris has been closed six times in the last 30 years, but it’s been closed twice in the last year, and that’s a serious economic issue,” Doer was reported as saying in the Winnipeg Sun.

The premier hinted at building a bypass, turning Hwy. 59 into a main thoroughfare to the U.S. or elevating the bridge and approachment into Morris, as some of the options which may be considered.

Doer expects any upgrades to prevent future incidents to be a major expense, likely upwards of $50 million, but would not take away from funding already set aside for Hwy. 75 upgrades. Although any feasibility study would have to wait until the work is finished on re-opening Hwy. 75.

– with files from the Winnipeg Sun

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