Manitoba’s Infrastructure Renewal Plan a Good Start, But Lots of Room for Growth

The Manitoba Trucking Association is encouraged by the recent announcement by Manitoba that the focus for Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation in 2013 will be bridges and roads, according to a release by Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton on November 23rd.  Some of the projects announced include work that has been identified by the Manitoba Trucking Association as a priority, including repairs to Highway 6 and upgrades to Highway 16.

“We have been telling governments for years that an increasing and serous infrastructure deficit has been created and will only continue to get worse unless it is properly addressed.  While we are obviously pleased that the government is focusing its efforts on roads and bridges, the reality is that much of the work is simply rehabilitation projects on items that have been left to deteriorate for far too long,” explains MTA Executive Director Bob Dolyniuk.  “Rather than being able to spend time and money on new projects, a significant number of the projects, especially bridges, are requirements simply to bring infrastructure up to an acceptable standard. For example, two overpasses on the Perimeter Highway are scheduled for significant rehabilitation work.  Haven’t these structures been properly maintained over the last number of decades? Instead, significant portions of this province’s infrastructure dollars are spent on repairs because the structures weren’t maintained appropriately during the life of the structures.  While this government’s ten year commitment to infrastructure is commendable, due to the significant infrastructure deficit that exists, we aren’t making any progress in this province; we are barely treading water when it comes to infrastructure.”

Some of the infrastructure investments that Manitoba Trucking Association would like to see include competing the north Perimeter Highway intersection at Highway 59, significant improvements to Highway 6, and resurfacing Highway 59.