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Plessis Road Underpass

Plessis Underpass

Project Background

In 2012, federal, provincial and municipal officials announced that the Plessis Road Underpass was approved for joint funding by the three levels of government, with a budget of $77 million.

Traffic is regularly restricted by passing trains causing congestion. The development of the Plessis Underpass will separate trains from motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians, making the area safer and more efficient for all modes of transportation.

Project Highlights

The Project will include an underpass of the CN Rail line. The underpass is to be located north of the Plessis Road and Dugald Road intersection.

Other components of the project will include:

  • Land drainage system improvements.
  • Active Transportation facilities.
  • Roadway improvements on Plessis Road, upgrading from two lanes to four lanes divided, between Dugald Road and Pandora Avenue.
  • Relocation of utilities, including watermains, sewers, fibre optic cables, gas mains, distribution poles, street lights and electrical lines.
  • Relocation of oil pipelines.

Plessis Road has been closed between Dugald Road and Kernaghan Avenue since July 28, 2013, and is expected to re-open to traffic on September 1, 2015. Construction is expected to be complete by September 15, 2015. The City has included an incentive in its contract for the private sector to finish and open the road around the May long weekend, 2015. We wish to thank you for your patience with this major construction project.

Public Open House

The City of Winnipeg held an Open House February 28, 2013 to review the preliminary design of the underpass and to answer questions about the project. These were the visual displays presented:

Open House Information Boards English / French

Public Open House No. 2

The second Plessis Road Underpass Open House was held on June 19, 2013 and provided the latest construction information and updated design information, and summarized some comments heard from the first Open House.

Open House No. 2 newsletter English / French

Open House No. 2 Information Boards English / French

Frequently Asked Questions

The following is frequently asked questions and responses for the Plessis Underpass project. Information is also available in the Open House Information Boards.

  1. The proposed twinning of Plessis Road south of Dugald Road seems to run through the golf course lands? How long until the twinning of Plessis Road south of Dugald Road occurs?
    1. The twinning of Plessis Road south of Dugald Road is not considered a City priority at this time and there has not been any funding allocated to the roadway improvements in the budgets. There is the possibility of initiating a Secondary Plan in the area to examine all of the necessary planning considerations required at some time in the future.
  2. Why was an underpass design chosen, instead of an overpass?
    1. Overpass options were developed and determined to be more expensive, produce more noise, require more property, and be less visually unappealing to the surrounding area than an underpass.
  3. Will an underpass or overpass eventually be constructed at the Perimeter and Dugald Road?
    1. The Perimeter is owned and operated by the Province of Manitoba and is not under jurisdiction of the City of Winnipeg.
  4. When completed, will Plessis Road eventually become a truck route after the underpass is completed?
    1. Plessis Road south of Regent Avenue West is currently designated as a truck route and will remain so following construction of the underpass.
  5. Will traffic be restricted from travelling on Bournais Drive?
    1. Traffic is not expected to be restricted on Bournais Drive; the City will monitor traffic prior to and during construction. The use of Bournais Drive as an alternative route during construction is not encouraged. Discussions are ongoing with Bernie Wolfe Community School and the River East Transcona School Division. Signage has been placed at strategic locations encouraging drivers to use alternative routes before entering the area.
  6. Will there be any other newsletters or email updates providing more project information?
    1. All project information or construction updates will be available on the project website. A newsletter will be prepared and distributed by standard mail delivery to notify the public. As well, those who provided an email address in the online feedback form or at the Open House events will be sent an electronic copy of the newsletter.
  7. Can one lane be left open on Plessis Road during initial construction to allow peak hour traffic through?
    1. Plessis Road at the rail crossing closed July 28, 2013; the City anticipates that Plessis Road will fully re-open to traffic on September 1, 2015. Construction is also expected to be completed by September 15, 2015. The City has also included in its tender an incentive for the private sector to finish and open Plessis Road around the May long weekend. Local access will be maintained between Pandora Avenue and Kernaghan Avenue. A detour road west of the existing crossing was considered but determined to be too costly and a risk to the project schedule.
  8. How will this affect people who access the Transcona Golf Club and will there still be access to the Trans-Canada Highway via Plessis Road south?
    1. Construction works on Dugald Road and Plessis Road south of Dugald Road will be staged to maintain traffic.
  9. Has there been consideration made to limit the train traffic during construction?
    1. Train traffic is controlled by the rail company. A temporary rail detour will be constructed so that train traffic can bypass the bridge construction.
  10. The long acceleration/merge lanes on Dugald Road are beneficial. Can this be applied to all four corners of the intersection?
    1. Acceleration and deceleration lanes were provided where traffic volumes warranted them. They have been implemented for traffic moving from the north to the west and traffic moving from the east to the north.
  11. How quickly will water be diverted to the dry pond and how? What is the likelihood of flooding at the underpass?
    1. The underpass is designed to remain dry through a 1 in 25-year rainfall event via pumping from the lift station (with all pumps working). The lift station capacity is also designed to minimize the effects of a 1 in 50 year rainfall event to minor flooding enabling the underpass to remain passable for emergency vehicles. The lift station discharges directly to the dry pond.
  12. Will more detailed information be provided about the traffic diversion? How will the diversion affect Heartstone Drive onto Pandora Avenue West?
    1. The use of alternative regional streets during construction is encouraged. It is expected that traffic volumes will increase on Pandora Avenue West.
  13. How much land will the Transcona Golf Course lose from this project?
    1. Construction will include improvements at the intersection of Plessis Road and Dugald Road. To accommodate the additional northbound turning lanes, a small area of golf course property is required but is not expected to impact layout or operations.
  14. Can the City provide updates on the status of the project and if it is completed on time and on budget?
    1. All project information available to the public can be found on the project website. For further information related to the project, please contact 311.
  15. As the distance between the CN track and Dugald Road is minimal, what slope will the roadway be between the two points?
    1. The longitudinal gradient is expected to be approximately 5 percent, comparable to theunderpass of McPhillips Street at CP Rail.
  16. Has there been a traffic study regarding the estimated amount of traffic south of Dugald Road after the underpass has been completed?
    1. A traffic study was conducted and the volumes on Plessis Rd south of Dugald Rd are not expected to increase significantly following the underpass construction. Volumes are expected to grow at a typical rate of approximately 1.5% annually thereafter.
  17. Why does the proposed twinning have such a sizeable median of empty land?
    1. Wide medians promote safety by reducing the possibility of collision by vehicles travelling in opposite directions and provide space for signage, landscaping, snowstorage and future road widening.
  18. Would a temporary traffic light system at Rougeau Avenue and Bournais Drive help traffic flow more efficiently along Bournais Drive?
    1. The addition of a traffic light would encourage traffic to use Bournais Drive, which is not a regional street and has an elementary school. The City does not want to encourage traffic to use Bournais Drive as an alternative route during construction.
  19. Are you going to increase the turning light timing at surrounding intersections?
    1. To accommodate traffic during the road closure, the traffic signals are expected to be re-timed at the following intersections during construction:
      1. Plessis Road and Regent Avenue West;
      2. Plessis Road and Pandora Avenue West;
      3. Plessis Road at Dugald Road;
      4. Dugald Road and Ravenhurst Street;
      5. Regent Avenue West and Nairn Avenue (between Owen Street and Archibald Street).
  20. What will the hours of construction be and can they be increased to 24/7 in order to speed up the process?
    1. Typical hours of construction are 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The hours of operation are limited and need to be sensitive to noise generation to adjacent residents. A 24/7 construction schedule could result in significant cost increases to the project.
  21. How much notice will be given to residents when the water and other utilities are disrupted?
    1. When water service shut downs are required, the City will attempt to provide 24 hours' notice. An earlier notice will alert them of the possible shut down.
  22. In regards to the Plessis Road Underpass design, can it incorporate railway themes into the design as a form of public art?
    1. Railway themes are reflected in the architecture of the lift station and in the pattern inscribed into the concrete retaining walls at the underpass.

Further Information

For inquiries, please contact
Phone, email, fax: 311

Detailed project information and project updates will be available on this website.

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Last update: August 13, 2014