Community Update - February 24, 2015
Your newly elected Council is committed to keeping East St. Paul residents and businesses fully informed on matters that affect our community. This message provides an update on recent developments related to the Province of Manitoba’s reconstruction of the intersection of Lagimodiere Blvd and the north perimeter highway (PTH101/59).
In November the new RM Council met with provincial representatives to discuss the local impacts this extensive highway improvement project may have on East St. Paul. One key area of concern is the emergency vehicle crossing at the north perimeter near Raleigh Street. Recognizing the critical nature of this crossing, provincial representatives agreed to construct, at no cost to East St. Paul, a corridor "through-pass” under the perimeter that would be suitable for emergency vehicles (image included in Questions & Answers section). This through-pass would also serve as an active transportation (AT) connection between the cycling/pedestrian trail systems of North Kildonan and East St. Paul.
At the November meeting, provincial representatives presented a second option: the construction of a two-lane vehicle through-pass, which would also allow regular local traffic to use this corridor, giving East St. Paul residents an additional north-south route in and out of our community. This option would clearly deliver greater local benefit, although a portion of costs for the two-lane vehicle through-pass would need to be funded by the municipality.
Due to the broader project timeline for the new 101/59 interchange, Council had a very limited window of just 11 days after the November meeting to provide the Province of Manitoba with a statement of agreement in principle around the concept of the two-lane vehicular through-pass. Given the considerable benefit to our community – as well as the significant cost savings this option represents when compared to other options for improved local access – Council held a special meeting on this matter and voted unanimously to issue a statement of agreement in principle. This decision will allow planning work for the vehicular through-pass to move ahead. It is important to note that the RM retains the option not to provide any municipal funding for the vehicular through-pass and would incur no penalty for doing so. Should the RM ultimately choose not to provide funding, the through-pass would still be built, but without the benefit of being accessible to regular local traffic.
Although this project is still in the very early stages, Council is committed to keeping residents fully informed as planning proceeds. The Province of Manitoba and the RM of East St. Paul will provide public opportunities to learn more about the project prior to the construction phase, and questions from East St. Paul families and businesses are welcome at any time. If you have questions at this point please call the RM office at 204-668-8112 or email us at email@example.com.
Thank you for your interest in important issues affecting our growing municipality.
Questions and answers:
North perimeter/Lagimodiere Blvd interchange
How will the Province of Manitoba’s Hwy 59 reconstruction affect East St. Paul?
Last year the province announced major improvements along Hwy 59, including the redevelopment of the perimeter highway/Lagimodiere Blvd interchange. As part of this work, the province has committed to construct a "through-pass” at the perimeter and Raleigh Street to provide local access for emergency vehicles and to connect the East St. Paul and North Kildonan active transportation corridors. There is no cost to East St. Paul for these improvements. In November, a second option was presented for the RM’s consideration: a vehicular through-pass which would create a lane for regular local traffic alongside the emergency access/AT corridor – provided that East St. Paul absorbed a portion of these additional costs. This two-lane vehicular through-pass would give local residents an additional north-south route in and out of our community.
How would this new vehicular through-pass be built at Raleigh – over or under it?
Neither. Currently, where Raleigh Street intersects with the perimeter is at level grade. When the cloverleaf at 101/59 is built, it will raise the perimeter roadway at Raleigh, allowing the new crossing to be built at grade.
How much would the vehicular through-pass cost the municipality?
The Province of Manitoba identified a maximum of $3 million as the potential cost to East St. Paul, but further cost-sharing discussions may result in a lower amount.
Would this investment represent good value to East St. Paul?
The RM’s engineers have advised that building a comparable access route would cost the municipality many millions of dollars more than the through-pass option that can be "piggybacked” on the province’s existing construction. Any other option to improve local access would be significantly more expensive.
If the RM of ESP doesn’t agree to fund the through-pass will it still be built?
Yes it will. This is the reason the Province of Manitoba required East St. Paul’s agreement in principle in such a short time frame; they had to complete their plans for the project without delay. If ESP doesn’t agree to funding, the extra lane will not be available for the benefit of local vehicle traffic but we will still have the emergency vehicle/active transportation corridor.
The RM has issued a "statement of agreement in principle.” Can it still opt out?
Yes. The Province of Manitoba and the RM of East St. Paul have agreed that the RM can choose not to proceed with funding the vehicular through-pass without penalty of any kind. The provincial government would still complete the emergency vehicle/active transportation corridor at no cost to the RM. In this scenario the through-pass would only be available for the use of emergency vehicles and pedestrians/cyclists.
Why didn’t Council simply give the Province of Manitoba full agreement at this point?
Although Council holds the unanimous view that the through-pass represents exceptional benefit and value to our community, we feel it is important for East St. Paul families and businesses to learn more about the project before municipal funds are committed. In partnership with the province, information sessions will be held over coming months, and the RM will continue to provide updates to residents. Further, the cost of the two-lane vehicular through-pass would be shared between the RM and the Province of Manitoba, and there is opportunity to work with the province to further reduce the municipality’s costs for this work.
Where can I read Council’s resolution to issue a statement of agreement in principle?
The RM of East St. Paul posts the minutes of all Council meetings on our website. You can find the Council resolution on this particular initiative by clicking the following link: RESOLUTION.
What happens now? Council will continue to engage our government partners both at the City of Winnipeg and Province of Manitoba to ensure this project delivers the greatest possible benefit to East St. Paul at an appropriate cost. There will also be opportunities for local residents to learn more about this project. Stay tuned for further announcements in coming months.
What if I have questions at this point?
Please contact the RM of East St. Paul office at 204-668-8112 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.