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Public Works

Empress Street and Overpass Reconstruction and Rehabilitation

Empress Street and Empress Street East are regional streets and truck routes that are in need of renewal and rehabilitation. The Empress Street Overpass over Portage Avenue is in need of major rehabilitation. In 2016/2017, the City of Winnipeg conducted a study to plan for complete roadway and overpass improvements on these streets, while taking an opportunity to create new and also improve existing cycling and pedestrian infrastructure in the study area. The study developed a preliminary design for the project and a report was finalized in November 2017.

Detailed design of the project has now been completed with the first phase of construction now underway, with completion of the overall project anticipated by 2020.

The City of Winnipeg is mindful that other street reconstruction projects, including St. James Street, are scheduled in the area in 2019. The amount of construction for the Empress project will be limited in 2018 with a focus on bank stabilization work and the rehabilitation of Empress Street (between Jack Blick Avenue and Portage Avenue), Westway, and Eastway. The majority of construction work on the project is planned for 2019 and will include the rehabilitation of the Empress Street Overpass, and the reconstruction of Empress Street (between Jack Blick Avenue and St Matthews Avenue) and Empress Street East. Access to local businesses will be maintained during the various stages of construction. Construction Notices will be issued as needed.


November 23, 2018 - The public engagement summary from the latest open house and stakeholder session is now available.

October 11, 2018 - Thank you to those who attended the public open house on the Empress Street and Overpass Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Project on October 10, 2018. For more information on the current status of the project and future plans for construction, review the open house boards.

September 20, 2018 - On September 20, 2018 Council approved a budget amendment increase of $2,934,000.00 for a total project budget of $22,834,000.00. The budget amendment includes a change in scope to add accessible pedestrian ramps from the Empress Overpass Bridge to both sides of Portage Avenue with an estimated budget requirement of $2,300,000. There will be an open house on October 10, 2018 to view the final design and find out more about construction.

Project Timeline




Previous Activities

Fall 2018 Engagement

Open house – The community and public were invited to a public open house to view the project plans and construction schedule on open house boards and maps. There was also a hard copy and online comment form available from September 26 to October 24, 2018.

Stakeholder Come & Go Session - Local stakeholders attended an event on Monday, September 24, 2018 from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. for an update on the project and to review the final design.

A public engagement summary of the information session and stakeholder session from the fall of 2018 is available on the documents tab.

Winter 2016/2017 Engagement

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.

Questions? Contact:
Scatliff+Miller+Murray 204-927-3444

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The City of Winnipeg is renewing and rehabilitating the following roads: Empress Street, Empress Street East, Eastway, Westway and St. John Ambulance Way between Portage Avenue and St. Matthews Avenue. The project is anticipated to finish in summer 2020.

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 redevelopment of the 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 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.


Document Name Date Type
Letter to Businesses and Residents 2018-03-12 Community Letters
News release 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
Letter to Businesses and Residents 2018-07-23 Community Letters
Open house boards 2018-09-26 Storyboards
Final Design 2018-09-26 Map
Open house poster 2018-09-26 Community Letters
News release 2018-09-26 News Release
Canstar Ad 2018-09-26 Advertisements
Wolseley Leaf Ad 2018-09-26 Advertisements
Winnipeg Free Press Ad 2018-09-26 Advertisements
Public Engagement Summary 2018-11-27 Report
Letter to Businesses and Residents 2018-11-27 Community Letters

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the budget for the project?
The total project budget has been increased from $20.2 million to $22.8 million with the addition of the universally accessible pedestrian routes from Portage Avenue to the Empress Overpass.
Will Empress/Westway/Eastway remain open during construction?
Empress Street, Empress Street East, Westway and Eastway are expected to remain open during construction with at least one travel lane available. Access to businesses will be maintained with as little disruption 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 constructed?
Several pedestrian and cycling improvements are being included in the project. These include:
  • Cycling and pedestrian facilities separated from motor vehicle traffic, are being constructed along St. John Ambulance Way, the Empress Overpass, Eastway, Westway, 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 area.
  • Localized connections and intersection crossing improvements.
  • The cycling facilities will be compatible with future projects to continue building on the network.
  • Two universally accessible pedestrian routes will provide access from the north and south sides of Portage Avenue to the overpass.
Will waterways (Omand's Creek, Assiniboine River) be affected?
There is the need for some bank stabilization work 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 construction.
When will construction occur?

The bulk of construction is expected to take 2 years – 2018 and 2019, with some minor work such as completion of landscaping occurring in the spring of 2020. The City of Winnipeg is mindful that other street reconstruction projects, including St. James St., are scheduled in the area in 2018. The amount of construction for the Empress project will be limited in 2018 with a focus on bank stabilization work and the rehabilitation of Empress Street (between Jack Blick Ave and Portage Ave), Eastway and Westway. The majority of construction work on Empress St. and Empress St. East is planned for 2019.

Please see the timeline tab for more information.

Last update: December 3, 2018