Prairie province kicks in an extra 300M for highways

WINNIPEG — Manitoba will boost highway funding in the province by 50 percent, Premier Gary Doer has announced.

According to the Winnipeg Free Press, the government will funnel an extra $300 million to the highway system over the next two years.

The cash, which will go into upgrading major commercial traffic routes like the Trans-Canada and Hwy 75 to the U.S., will not flow until next April, however.

Southern Manitoba roadways and truck routes, which take a pounding by the province’s extreme weather patterns, are frequently described to be in bad shape.

Last winter, the bumps and cracks on Highway 75, the Trans-Canada, and the south Perimeter Highway forced the province to put up signs warning drivers to slow down.

Many Manitoba truckers complain that Hwy 75 is one of the worst rides in the country. Some drivers told Today’s Trucking that they are sometimes forced to drive with half on their tractor-trailer unit on the shoulder to avoid the large cracks and potholes.

Doer said he’s making the announcement now so that contractors can start planning for next year’s construction season.

Opposition Conservative Leader Hugh McFadyen accused Doer of ignoring roads during his seven years in office and suggested the premier only made this announcement to get reelected.

— with files from the Winnipeg Free Press

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