It’s a rite of passage being a motorist in Winnipeg — sitting in traffic waiting for the “Waverley train” to pass.
Now, all three levels of government have come together to alleviate the time spent sitting at flashing red signal lights.
The federal and provincial governments are contributing up to $91.8 million to build the Waverley underpass at the CN mainline located at the corner of Waverley Street and Taylor Avenue in the city’s booming south end.
The city will cover the balance of the costs for the estimated $155.1 million project.
“The Waverley underpass is an important infrastructure improvement that will significantly enhance safety for motorists and pedestrians at the railroad crossing, and will also help ease congestion, improve traffic flow and reduce travel,” Mayor Brian Bowman said.
Construction calls for approximately 1.2 kilometres of twinning along Taylor Avenue, in addition to sections on Waverley Street. Active transportation and pedestrian systems within the project area will also be improved and expanded.
Over the years, motorists have become so frustrated with waiting out the several trains that pass by daily, that its own Twitter account was spawned from the anger. While it hasn’t been updated in a while, it would post updates on when the train happened to be going by, in an effort to help drivers choose an alternate route.
A timeline for when construction could start isn’t known. The city is waiting on formal written agreements from Ottawa and the province before proceeding.
Thursday’s announcement wasn’t without some fireworks, as heckler Robert Kury yelled “scumbag” to one of the politicians. He also used an airhorn to try and derail the press conference.
Heckler Robert Kury hurls "scumbag!" At the speakers at the Waverly Underpass announcement. https://t.co/sH5NvzbTL3
— Elisha Dacey (@elishadacey) July 30, 2015