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Public Works

Empress Street and Overpass Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Study

Empress Street and Empress Street East are regional streets and truck routes that are in need of renewal and rehabilitation. The City of Winnipeg is conducting a study to plan for complete roadway and overpass improvements on these streets, while also taking an opportunity to create new and improve existing cycling and pedestrian facilities in the study area. This study will develop a preliminary design for the project with construction planned for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

The City of Winnipeg is mindful that other street reconstruction projects, including St. James St., are scheduled in the Polo Park area in 2017. The amount of construction for the Empress project will be limited in 2017 with a focus on bank stabilization work and bridge repairs. The majority of construction work on the project is planned for 2018. Empress Street, Empress Street East, Westway and Eastway are expected to remain open during construction with one traffic lane available in each direction of travel.


Engage

Previous Activities

Stakeholder Meetings - Meetings with local stakeholders took place from December 2016 through February 2017. The meetings introduced the project, discussed the project area and identified existing vehicular, pedestrian and cycling routes. Meeting participants reviewed the conceptual design ideas and options and were asked for their feedback. Input from participants was gathered regarding their preferences, needs, priorities and concerns.

Public Open House - Winnipeggers were invited to view preliminary design plans for significant improvements to roads and infrastructure surrounding CF Polo Park Shopping Centre at an open house on April 5, 2017 at the centre court of the mall. The event was geared to generate overall project awareness and to inform the public about the project using a series of story boards. Roughly 225 people stopped to view the concept drawing and discuss the plan with city staff and the project team. A total of 29 exit surveys were completed. An online survey was available on this website between March 23 and April 21, 2017. A total of 94 responses were collected.

A public engagement summary is now available under the documents tab.

For further information about this project, please contact:

Scatliff + Miller + Murray
204-927-3444
winnipeg@scatliff.ca

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Project Timeline

Timeline

Timeline

Background

In the coming years, the City of Winnipeg will be renewing and rehabilitating the following roads: Empress Street, Empress Street East, Eastway, Westway and St. John Ambulance Way between Portage Avenue and the St. Matthews Avenue.

The current design of Empress Street and Empress Street East were intended to accommodate large traffic volumes generated by public events at the former Winnipeg Arena and Winnipeg Stadium. Since these amenities no longer exist in this neighbourhood, short-term traffic volumes have been reduced. In response to current and projected future traffic volumes, the proposed redevelopment of the study area will improve the existing road network by reconfiguring traffic circulation in the area and eliminating obsolete traffic lanes. The remaining traffic lanes will be renewed and the Empress Street overpass will be rehabilitated. Slope stabilization work will occur along Omand’s Creek and the Assiniboine River to accommodate the roadwork.

After reviewing current traffic needs, the City of Winnipeg also identified opportunities to improve all modes of travel in the area. The current cycling facilities in the study area are not well connected to the City’s current cycling network. This project will take the opportunity to enhance connections to the surrounding area by incorporating new bicycle paths consistent with the City’s Pedestrian and Cycling Strategies.

This project aims to increase the comfort and convenience for people of all ages and abilities, whether they are walking, biking, driving or using transit, while renewing the infrastructure.

Documents

Document Name Date Type
Study Area Map 2017-01-06 Map
Public invited to open house for the Empress Street and Overpass Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Study 2017-03-22 News Release
Open House Story Boards 2017-03-22 Storyboards
Open House Poster 2017-03-22 Community Letters
Metro Advertisement 2017-03-29 Advertisements
Public Engagement Summary 2017-06-20 Report

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the budget for the project?
Total project budget is $17.4 million and is currently included in the City’s five year capital budget forecast for 2017 and 2018.
Will Empress/Westway/Eastway remain open during construction?
Empress Street, Empress Street East, Westway and Eastway are expected to remain open during construction with one traffic lane available in each direction of travel.
Will access be maintained to area businesses during construction?
Access to businesses will be maintained as much as possible. Minor adjustments and short term and temporary access restrictions may be required during construction to allow the overall project to proceed.
What improvements to pedestrian and cycling facilities are being considered?
Several pedestrian and cycling improvements are being considered in the plan. These include:
  • Cycling and pedestrian facilities separated from motor vehicle traffic, are being considered along St. John Ambulance Way, the Empress Overpass, Empress Street East and Empress Street.
  • Connections to Bluestem Nature Park, St. Matthews Avenue Bikeway and the pathway between Wolseley Avenue West and Omand Park.
  • Improvements to sidewalks in the project study area.
  • Localized connections and intersection crossing improvements.
Any bicycle facilities would be compatible with future projects to continue building on the network.
Will waterways (Omand’s Creek, Assiniboine River) be affected?
The need for some bank stabilization work is anticipated along a short section of the Assiniboine River and along portions of Omand’s Creek adjacent to Empress Street. The work is not expected to negatively impact either of these waterways during or after the construction.
When will construction occur?
Construction is expected to be staged over 2 years – 2017 and 2018. The City of Winnipeg is mindful that other street reconstruction projects, including St. James St., are scheduled in the Polo Park area in 2017. The amount of construction for the Empress project will be limited in 2017 with a focus on bank stabilization work and bridge repairs. The majority of construction work on Empress St. and Empress St. East is planned for 2018. Stay tuned for more details on the construction schedule.
Last update: May 5, 2017