No repairs planned for 18th Street: Province


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It remains to be seen whether 18th Street will earn a top spot again this year in CAA’s annual Worst Roads campaign, which kicked off in Winnipeg on Tuesday, as the province has no active plans to resurface the rutted thoroughfare.

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It remains to be seen whether 18th Street will earn a top spot again this year in CAA’s annual Worst Roads campaign, which kicked off in Winnipeg on Tuesday, as the province has no active plans to resurface the rutted thoroughfare.

The automobile organization’s annual campaign encourages Manitobans to vote for their least-favourite road based on anything from potholes to lack of sidewalks and bike paths to congestion and poor traffic signal timing.

“No matter how Manitobans use their roads, they should be able to do it safely, meaning we need to consider all road infrastructure and traffic issues,” CAA Manitoba president Tim Scott said in a press release.

Part of Brandon’s 18th Street is surrounded by a swollen Assiniboine River. The province says there are no plans to resurface the pothole-riddled thoroughfare. (File)

A recent survey of CAA Manitoba members showed that 82 per cent of respondents believe not enough is being done to maintain roads in their area, and 64 per cent believe the roads in their area have worsened over time. Additionally, 57 per cent cited that a lack of cycling infrastructure is also a significant concern.

Despite being located within the city of Brandon, many roadways actually fall under the jurisdiction of the province, meaning they are excluded from the city’s pothole patching program. This includes 18th Street, which ranked fifth in the top 10 worst roads in Manitoba and first in Brandon.

“We want to partner up with our municipalities to create opportunities to address some of these challenges when it comes to maintenance,” Doyle Piwniuk, the province’s minister of transportation and infrastructure, told the Sun.

He said the province’s focus in the Brandon area is on the Daly Overpass, which is currently undergoing a multimillion-dollar upgrade.

Last spring, Piwniuk said an unusual combination of “perfect conditions” exasperated potholes on roads throughout the province. According to the city, these dents are most prevalent during spring’s freeze-thaw cycle, when melted snow seeps into cracks in the pavement, then freezes, putting pressure on the pavement and pushing it out of place to create a pothole.

Despite the lack of plans for resurfacing along 18th Street, Piwniuk said there’s flexibility in the province’s multi-year infrastructure investment strategy, which was unveiled last week and includes more than $2.5 billion for highway infrastructure projects.

“Don’t forget that it’s a five-year budget, so we could change things based on priorities with municipalities. So, if [the municipality feels] that 18th Street needs paving versus something else in the area of Brandon, we may look at moving that forward.”

The infrastructure strategy prioritizes projects that improve trade and commerce routes. Piwniuk specifically mentioned upgrades to Highway 5, citing the growing pork industry and the need for hogs to be transported from Killarney to Neepawa for processing.

“We want to make sure that if there’s a lot of traffic, we want to make sure that it’s providing a lot of jobs, [so] we’re going to prioritize that highway,” he said.

Still, the minister did say that if a road is in bad condition and should have been repaired years ago, that will move the road up a spot on the province’s priority list.

Meanwhile, CAA is encouraging voters to think beyond just potholes this year when casting their ballots in the organization’s campaign. Manitobans can vote online at and residents can name any road in the province and vote daily. While there is a restriction on voting for the same road twice in one day, casting more than one vote on the same day is permitted if the votes are for different roads.

As residents vote, a “living” top 10 list will be published by CAA until voting ends in early May. After votes are tallied, a top 10 list of bad roads in Manitoba will be published as well as the top five in Brandon.

Provincial Road 307, which runs through Whiteshell Provincial Park, east of Winnipeg, took the award for worst road in Manitoba last year because of constant winter heaving, poor patching and spring flooding. (The road was underwater when it was declared the winner.)


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