Some big changes are coming to Winnipeg Street north at Ring Road but at this point, the plan doesn’t include the nearby train tracks.
On Thursday morning, a group of politicians huddled in the chilly parking lot at the end of Winnipeg Street to announce funding for the overpass project.
The federal, provincial and municipal government are each contributing $9.6 million towards construction.
This project will replace the Winnipeg Street overpass with a larger one. According to a government news release, the overpass will be longer on the west side, adding two connecting intersections along 9th Avenue North, north of Ring Road, and it will realign the interchanges which connect north and southbound Ring Road.
The overpass will also be moved to align better with Winnipeg Street.
Councillor Jerry Flegel’s ward borders the area where the work will happen.
“If you go to the old Staples call centre and look straight down Winnipeg north you’ll see the line that it’ll actually work on, and there won’t be a bunch of jogging in between it. So, it’ll make it a lot more smooth and more transitional for everybody,” said Flegel.
Mayor Michael Fougere said it will be a major change to that end of the city.
“It will be much more functional, more user-friendly, easier to get around, and it’ll align more with Winnipeg Street itself.”
The overpass will be designed in 2019, with construction starting in 2020, and it’s expected to open in 2021.
City still waiting for report on solution to train tracks blocking Ring Road
As politicians were speaking to the media about the new overpass, just a few hundred yards away from the current one a train was crossing Ring Road, bringing traffic to a standstill.
Those tracks are one of the biggest headaches in Regina traffic – stopping vehicles multiple times a day.
A report on what to do, if anything, about those tracks is expected to be presented to city council next year.
Mayor Michael Fougere said the plan for the overpass could affect what happens with the tracks.
“It may decide what we do – whether we remove those tracks or we have an underpass, overpass in a different location.”
Fougere said the city will look for funding from the provincial and federal governments again when it comes time to deal with the tracks. The city will look to partner with the rail companies as well.