Nearly 200 construction projects will renew 175 lane kilometres of Winnipeg roads in 2022.
Overall, $165 million of repairs will be completed this year, including enhancing sidewalks and active transportation routes, the city says.
By 2023, Winnipeg will have invested $1 billion in road repairs since 2014, Mayor Brian Bowman said.
"After decades of neglect of our city roads, we’re finally starting to repair and fix the robust network of roads that we have throughout our city," he said.
The work includes some funding from the federal and provincial governments, which each committed $100 million to boost Winnipeg road repairs between 2019 and 2024.
This year’s key construction projects include:
• Stafford Street, from Corydon Avenue to Pembina Highway: $14 million
• Jubilee Avenue, from Osborne Street to Pembina: $13 million
• Mountain Avenue, from Arlington Street to McPhillips Street: $10.5 million
• Smith Street, from Notre Dame Avenue to the Midtown Bridge: $9.2 million
• Nairn Avenue, from Stadacona Street to Watt Street: $5.4 million
The province will also give Winnipeg $8.9 million for additional road projects, including fixing a massive number of recently formed potholes caused by a cold, wet winter followed by repeated freeze-thaw cycles in the spring.
When asked if that money will stretch beyond potholes to support additional projects, Bowman said a staff proposal on how the extra cash should be spent will be considered by council in July.
"We want to see those dollars utilized as quickly as possible," he said Monday.
Thanks to a few years of higher road repair standards after the city began imposing changes in 2020, the current roads should also last longer than they may have in the past, Bownman said.
"The city has made significant progress in fixing and improving how roads are being built," he said.
Dr. Ahmed Shalaby, a University of Manitoba professor with expertise in pavement engineering, worked to improve road repairs with a team of U of M students and researchers, along with city, provincial and industry experts.
Because of that work, new pavement in Winnipeg is now expected to last about 15 per cent longer, due to improved construction standards that began in 2020. One key change involves removing weaker materials such as clay and finer elements from the aggregate below roads, which lets pavement drain more quickly, said Shalaby.
"By removing those materials we are ensuring that these foundations are stronger and can last longer."
Since the expected life span of a road can range from 15 to 30 years, depending on its type, how much the service life is extended also varies, said Shalaby.
While the construction changes were first approved in 2020, they have since gradually become a universal standard for municipal and provincial projects, with few exceptions, he said.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.