Presentation by East St. Paul Mayor Shelley Hart to
City of Winnipeg Infrastructure Committing Meeting – April 14, 2015
Chairperson Lukes and members of the Infrastructure Committee.
I am pleased to be here today to provide context to the decisions that Council will be asked to make this Wednesday, relating to the Raleigh Street level grade through pass in East St. Paul (ESP).
The Province of Manitoba’s construction of the 101/59 interchange (completion of the Perimeter Hwy @ 59) is the catalyst for the through pass @ Raleigh & Perimeter. ESP and our direct neighbors in St Clements and Springfield (Oakbank), utilize the two main roadways in and out of Winnipeg; Hwy 59 and Henderson Hwy.
ESP’s long range transportation plans contemplate a 3rd north/south route along Raleigh Street, with a high level estimate identified as $20M. Having an opportunity to accomplish the same for $3M was an opportunity ESP could simply not ignore.
The Province of MB provided ESP with an exceptional opportunity to develop a new north/south transportation route between ESP and the City of Winnipeg. They had the foresight and understanding of the importance of this transportation link and subsequently made the offer to ESP. The opportunity the construction project offered in terms of timing and cost was significant. The Province of MB saw this as an opportunity for the capital region – they saw the greater picture.
When ESP Council was approached in November 2014, we had 11 days to decide if we wanted to provide the Province of MB with a statement of agreement in principle around the concept of a two lane through pass. Given the considerable benefits to our community and others – as well as the significant cost savings this option represents when compared to other options for improved access – Council held a special meeting on the matter and voted unanimously to issue the statement of agreement in principle.
The day after ESP Council passed the resolution, November 27, 2014, I met with Councillor Browaty and advised him of the resolution and why we proceeded. On January 6, 2015 a letter was sent to Mayor Bowman outlining the info on the through pass resolution. On February 6, 2015, Mayor Bowman’s office responded to my letter suggesting I meet with Councillor Lukes, chair of the infrastructure renewal and public works committee, to discuss the Province of MB’s project which directly affects both ESP and the City of Winnipeg. Councillor Lukes and I met and discussed the matter on March 9, 2015.
This is not an ESP vs the City of Winnipeg issue. This transportation link will benefit both of us as well as other municipalities in the area. The City of Winnipeg’s vacant land is limited – and this will translate into more development outside the Perimeter into the Capital Region. If traffic projections are reasonable in the long term, and based on the Conference Board of Canada’s projections, how is the City of Winnipeg going to accommodate Regional growth?
In the north east region, the two main routes are Henderson Hwy, and Lagimodiere Blvd. Building the Raleigh Street through pass will in fact reduce traffic volumes on Lagimodiere Blvd and Henderson Hwy, offering another north/south route for the capital region. If the Raleigh Street vehicle through pass was operational three years from today, traffic volumes are estimated at 2,000 – 3,000 vehicles per day. This estimate was provided to us by Stantec Engineering.
Today I would ask this Committee to reconsider the wording of their second recommendation – to one which reflects a willingness to work in collaboration with ESP, determining if and when vehicle traffic can be contemplated by both municipalities. This was never a roadway which was going to be built by ESP without consultation with the City of Winnipeg. ESP simply provided the Province of MB with a statement of agreement in principle so that the infrastructure to accommodate a roadway would be built in conjunction with the 101/59 interchange project.
We are neighbors and we face many of the same challenges. Our residents expect us to work together in the best interests of all member municipalities in the capital region.
Agenda – Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works –April 14, 2015
Item No. 7 East St. Paul Through-Pass
WINNIPEG PUBLIC SERVICE RECOMMENDATION:
- That the Public Service be authorized to plan for accommodation of cyclists, pedestrians and required emergency vehicles entering the City of Winnipeg from the Rural Municipality of East St. Paul via a properly controlled through-pass constructed beneath PTH 101 (North Perimeter Highway) in the vicinity of the Raleigh Street alignment; and
- That Council not support accommodation of general traffic entering the City of Winnipeg from the Rural Municipality of East St. Paul via a through-pass constructed beneath PTH 101 (North Perimeter Highway) in the vicinity of the Raleigh Street alignment at this time.