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Update: $80M in infrastructure work coming

» Daly Overpass, First Street bridge among upgrades

The Daly Overpass was officially opened on Oct. 16, 1963. Its three lanes are now a source of frustration for Brandon drivers on four-lane 18th Street.

FILE PHOTO Enlarge Image

The Daly Overpass was officially opened on Oct. 16, 1963. Its three lanes are now a source of frustration for Brandon drivers on four-lane 18th Street.

The province will plow more than $80 million over the next five years into Brandon and the immediate area, with a series of bridge and road upgrades, including the long-awaited expansion of the Daly Overpass.

Traffic, two-wheeled and four-wheeled, rumbles over the First Street Bridge in 2012.

Enlarge Image

Traffic, two-wheeled and four-wheeled, rumbles over the First Street Bridge in 2012. (COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)

Although specific timelines weren't given, the province announced today details of which projects would be undertaken locally in the five-year province-wide plan. Previous releases had described the $5.5-billion infrastructure plan in broad outlines only.

Detailed today are a series of six projects that will be done at some point over the next five years.

They include a major rehabilitation of the Daly Overpass to add a fourth lane to the notorious bottleneck.

Also in the plan is a significant rehabilitation of the First Street bridge, which has drawn crticism over the past couple of years for its poor condition. The province says that it will get a deck replacement and girder reinforcement. The work is expected to be done in stages that will allow it to remain open at least one lane in each direction during the work.

Other jobs include a kilometre of paving to the Brandon airport access road, 15 km of paving on Highway 270 north of Brandon, and microsurfacing work for nearly 4 km on Veteran's Way and more than 11 km of the Trans-Canada Highway.

Highway 1A through Kemany will also be repaved all the way to Brandon's 50th Street. And the province will be doing a complete rebuild of Victoria Avenue between First Street and 18th Street.

The work is in addition to other Westman projects that have previously been announced, including a $67-million investment into Highway 10 that will see new passing lanes and curve realignments in places between Riding Mountain National Park and the U.S border.

"Good highways and bridges are important to local families and businesses, tourists and commercial drivers," Premier Greg Selinger said in making the announcement. "We know the best way to encourage growth in our communities is to invest in roads and bridges. We made significant upgrades over the last five years and these new upgrades are part of our continuing commitment to improving infrastructure in Manitoba.

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While they are at it, I hope the highway engineers can improve the sight line when you merge onto 18th St. at the south end of the Daly bridge. Entering the traffic flow from the underpass is a daily crap-shoot, especially if the road is slick. I'm surprised there has not been a major accident between emergency vehicles traveling south on the bridge and merging traffic.

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