The City of Winnipeg is moving ahead with an $11 million project that residents and stakeholders are opposed to having done.
It started in early 2019 when the City of Winnipeg met with select area residents to present options that would address the City's concerns with riverbank erosion along Wellington Crescent, between Doncaster and Park Boulevard.
Representatives of the City presented three various options between $9 and $14 million. Each of the three would see the destruction of a few of our City's oldest and most beautiful trees. During the meeting when residents voiced concern representatives offered a fourth option. Close the specific stretch of the road and create an active transportation path.
Since the first meeting, residents, Bike Winnipeg and the Assiniboine Park Conservatory, have been in support of option four. Option four also came with a much lower cost to taxpayers.
The City ignored option four and is proceeding with the $11 million option set to begin this fall with the removal of trees and drilling.
This year I presented the findings of a well-respected Archaeologist in Indigenous History who stated the specific area could have significant meaning to the Metis and Cree Nations.
With this information, I moved two motions to delay the $11 million project and allow for more resident engagement. Both motions lost to the majority vote of the Mayor and his Executive Policy Committee plus two. I found this odd given the Mayor and his EPC are continuously spending millions on Active Transportation Routes, but not this time.
This week the team responsible for the project sent out the notice below:
The project team is currently considering feedback and conducting further investigations in the project area to help refine the design. Crews will be in the area over the next several weeks inspecting and conducting tests. Test holes will be drilled in order to confirm soil conditions along sections of the riverbank and roadway on Wellington Crescent between Park Boulevard and Doncaster Street. Single lane closures will be required for test hole drilling, so residents may experience temporary traffic disruptions.
Heritage resource investigations are also underway. A review of background information was complete and research is ongoing. Archaeologists and local historians walked the study area with a representative from the Province’s Heritage Resource Branch. Next steps include a field testing program and a report to summarize the heritage resources findings.
This work will help the project team prepare the detailed design in fall 2020. The detailed design will be posted on the project webpage later this year and will be used in the construction tender for the project. Construction is expected to begin in early 2021.
For more information, visit winnipeg.ca/wellingtonriverbank.
If you live on Wellington Crescent to the east of Route 90 contact your City Councillor, JOrlikow@winnipeg.ca and express your concerns and disappointment.
This is a costly project that is being rushed through and one that doesn't met the desire of residents and that means more public engagement is required.