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This article was published 23/4/2012 (3386 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Highway 21 has moved up the charts — but it’s not a list you’d want to be on.
The highway near Goodlands, next to the United States border, has moved up to fourth place on the first-ever CAA Manitoba Worst Roads poll, as online voting concluded yesterday. It was the only Westman road to make the top 10 list provincially, though Highway 10 also received a significant number of votes, CAA Manitoba’s public affairs manager, Liz Peters, said.
“I haven’t seen roads like that before,” Peters said of the Westman highways. “It seemed the further west you went away from where the decisions are made, the worse the highways got. It was like they had been forgotten.”
Peters said the 2012-13 budget had a significant focus on the infrastructure needs.
“We are going to hold them to that,” Peters said. “They have their work cut out for them, especially after the flood in western Manitoba.”
A government spokeswoman provided a list of projects intended to repair Highway 21’s crumbling infrastructure, but none of the listed projects are south of Highway 23, where much of the worst damage is found.
The list of Highway 21 projects provided by the government included:
• eight kilometres north of Highway 23 to Hartney for grade construction;
• 7.5 km north of the Trans-Canada Highway for grade construction;
• 13.3 km north of the east Highway 2 junction for slope stabilization;
• 0.45 km north of the Highway 355 junction near Hamiota for slope stabilization;
•and a new bridge over the Souris River at Hartney
“Certainly there is a commitment to fix the bridge at Hartney, but that won’t be done until November 2013,” said Arthur-Virden Progressive Conservative MLA Larry Maguire.
“That’s a little too little, too late. Highway 21 has been identified as one of the worst roads in Manitoba. I’d call the part from Deloraine to the U.S. border one of the worst roads in the country. Everyone’s realizing it, and now you can almost go from Shoal Lake to the U.S. border, save for some portions north of the Trans-Canada near Hamiota that were redone.”
Maguire said that list is growing in Westman, as there are infrastructure needs on Highway 83 as well as the immediate need for a bridge replacement on Highway 251 at Coulter.
“I think there is a double standard in the province,” Maguire said. “The government said they wouldn’t raise taxes and they have. You can say politicians do that all the time, but they hoodwinked the voters into thinking they manage the affairs well and they have not.”
Peters said the votes from this road survey will be tabulated, then presented to municipal and provincial government officials before media releases announcing the top vote getters are presented.