WINNIPEG — It’s a common occurrence during flood season in Manitoba — the closure of Highway 75.
The province hopes to alleviate some of those transportation delays and reroutes by raising two bridges and sections of the highway near Morris. The construction will keep the critical commercial route to the U.S. open for business during major floods.
Premier Greg Selinger made the announcement Friday in the community south of Winnipeg alongside Morris Mayor Gavin van der Linde and Reeve Ralph Groening.
Work to rebuild a large portion of the PTH 23 bridge over the Red River in Morris, Manitoba is now complete.
The province undertook the $32 million upgrade to extend the life of the structure by another 40 years. It was originally constructed on the east side of the town in 1968.
“When upgrades to the approach roads to the bridge are completed next summer, PTH 23 will be higher near the dike so it will no longer be necessary to temporarily raise the road during larger floods,” said Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton.
Motorists who use the Red River Bridge on Highway 23 at Morris will need to find an alternative route beginning Monday.
The province is closing the roadway at 6 a.m. for a two-month period to replace the bridge deck. The work is part of a planned $30 million rehabilitation project.
The closure will be in effect until August 25 at 6 a.m. From then until September 29, the bridge will be re-opened to two-way traffic at 50 km/h and from 6 a.m. September 29 to 6 a.m. December 1 when the bridge will be closed to all traffic.
To ensure a vital transport link between the U.S. and Canada remains open during spring flooding, Highway 75 will see $215 million in structural upgrades.
The Manitoba government will focus on the northbound lanes to be built to interstate standards, similar to what the southbound lanes have seen within the last five years.
The announcement was made Wednesday at Bison Transport on Sherwin Road alongside officials from the Manitoba Trucking Association, Manitoba Heavy Construction Association and CentrePort Canada.
Work includes rebuilding 53 kilometres of the northbound lanes of Highway 75 from St. Jean Baptiste to St. Adolphe, and constructing new bridges over the Morris River (north of Morris) and the Plum River (south of Morris) that will complement existing flood protection infrastructure for the area.
Upgrades in five other key locations are also part of the government’s proposal (left), building on the work already completed.
A vital bridge that acts as a link to the community of Morris is getting an upgrade.
The bridge on Highway 23 over the Red River will see deck and railing replacements, girder strengthening, pier repairs, and slope stabilization of the west embankment.
“This bridge was built in the late ’60s and is an important route in and out of Morris when PTH 75 is closed during major flood events,” Premier Greg Selinger said. “However, the bridge now needs major repairs to ensure that it remains safe and can continue to be used as the town’s lifeline for years to come.”