WINNIPEG – The Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure, Renewal and Public Works received an earful on Monday over a contentious project at Marion and Archibald.
A report making the rounds at City Hall shows the widening of Marion and an overpass at that rail crossing would cost over a half billion dollars.
“The project cost in this report is now projected at $566 million – class four, which could mean as much as $900 million,” said St. Boniface councilor Matt Allard at the meeting.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I feel like this is killing a fly with a sledgehammer.”
The project would have also seen 141 properties in the area being expropriated, according to the report.
“When I asked the consultant why all these streets were not considered affected, they simply replied, ‘you were considered unaffected because you were outside expropriations.’ I cannot find the appropriate and politically correct words to express my disgust that answer provided me,” said St. Boniface resident Christine Trickey who is also a member of the South St. Boniface Association.
Trickey was among the dozens of residents who lined up in council chambers to offer up their two cents on the entire process thus far and voiced their concern on what a $200,000 study to find a more affordable option for the busy intersection might look like.
“I cannot stress how a bad of a plan this was from the beginning, if this had gone through at the cost of a billion dollars it would’ve destroyed these residential neighbourhoods,” said Trickey.
Georgia Skarpias’ hair salon was among the properties slated for expropriation. She also voiced her frustration with the consultation process as well.
“I’ve spent a lot of money in my business and I will probably never get it back (through expropriation),” Skarpias said.
“If it does go with consultants again that they do notify us better because this was not the way to do it.”
Ultimately, the committee decided to delay any decision on the study until November. They wanted more time to discuss who should do the study: the original consultant, another group or conduct it internally.