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Construction season may have less of an impact on Winnipeg traffic

As the calendar turns to May, so comes the return of Winnipeg’s unofficial fifth season- construction season.

The city’s road construction list is longer than a lineup during rush hour, with dozens of projects ongoing, upcoming, or in the works. This includes major routes like Abinojii Mikanah and the Saint Vital Bridge.

However, the overall impact on the average motorist may not seem as bad as we’re used to as 2023 marked the end of an accelerated regional street program.

“That’s why last year and for the last three years, people really noticed the interruption in the traffic flow because we were concentrating on regional streets, which carry 80 per cent of the volume of all traffic,” said Chris Lorenc, president and CEO of the Manitoba Heavy Construction Association.

Lorenc says the emphasis is now shifting to fixing our residential roads.

“So you’re going to see a lot more streets in communities being repaired and replaced, so more disruption to traffic and travel in the residential parts of our city,” he said.

All in all, the city’s tabbed $138 million for road repairs in the 2024 budget — a $21 million drop from last year.

“Regional streets and residentials are in a really, really tough shape and it’s going to require significantly more investment That is sustained, that is invested with discipline to purpose so that we can get out of this annual tug of war, Lorenc said.

Lorenc noted that drivers should still be prepared for plenty of delays over the coming months.

He’s urging everyone to drive with caution when heading through a construction zone.

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