Portage and Main underground costs City nearly $1 million each year

Released: March 7, 2024 at 10:08 a.m.

Operating the Portage & Main underground concourse costs the City of Winnipeg almost $1 million every year, Mayor Scott Gillingham shared today. This information comes after a recent report warned that potential repairs to the underground would cost at least $73 million and create up to five years of traffic delays.

Between 2018 and 2023, operating expenses for the underground concourse – including security, maintenance, cleaning services and utilities – exceeded rental income by an annual average of $965,832.

“The ongoing expense to keep the Portage and Main underground open is not sustainable,” Gillingham said. “We could use that funding to improve other city services and infrastructure to make downtown more appealing to people and businesses. A more practical approach would be to close the underground concourse and allow pedestrian crossings at street level, like every other intersection.”

Gillingham has proposed reopening Portage and Main to pedestrian traffic by the summer of 2025 to coincide with the launch of the new transit route network. A motion to that effect, jointly developed by Gillingham and Property and Development Chair Sherri Rollins, will be considered by the Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development later today.

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