The much-maligned Daly Overpass in Brandon — a three-lane bridge over the railway along 18th Street — will be redeveloped some time in the next five years, the province announced during its throne speech today.
The bridge is just one of the projects that the government highlighted as part of a five-year, $5.5-billion plan focused on core infrastructure like roads and sewers.
Also in the plan were unspecified investments in Highway 10 from Brandon to the U.S. border and north of Minnedosa, as well as a Trans-Canada Highway bypass around Headingley.
The Daly Overpass redevelopment will be a partnership with the city of Brandon, said Lieutenant-Governor Philip Lee, who read the speech from the throne in the legislature today.
The overpass, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this fall, has long been on the radar for some kind of upgrade.
About three years ago during former premier Gary Doer’s State of the Province address to the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, Doer said his government would "considerably" and "dramatically" advance refurbishment of the Daly Overpass.
At that time the bridge was not slated for upgrades until 2026, something Doer said simply did not make sense.
About a month ago, the province was still saying that it had no set timeline for expanding the bridge. According to a provincial spokesperson in mid-October, it was in the "longer-range plans."
However, city officials have been squeaking more loudy and more often in attempt to get grease for this particular wheel.
"It’s intolerable not to have four lanes on the bridge," Brandon mayor Shari Decter Hirst told the Sun last month, at the bridge's 50th anniversary
The Daly Overpass is considered the primary traffic corridor in Brandon, and Decter Hirst said it’s the most important access point in the city.
"It’s a huge priority for the city to have that bridge expanded to four lanes," she said. "We mention it consistently when we talk to the province."
City manager Scott Hildebrand has also said that the Daly Overpass is among the Brandon projects that he has been championing.
The province also pledged the following infrastructure work:
- Reconstruction of Highway 75 to provent flood-related closures
- Investments in the Perimeter Highway around Winnipeg
- Upgrades to the Trans-Canada Highway to Ontario
- Expanded rapid transit in Winnipeg
- Permanent flood outleft for Lake Manitoba and Lake St. Martin