Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Lazy, hazy days of summer

It is once again another summer of construction in Winnipeg. The long backlog of avoiding re-building infrastructure has finally caught up with the city as well as the province.

I headed to the U.S. last week for a vacation with my wife. We arrived on the day that the I-35W collapsed in Minneapolis. It was horrible to see. It was more horrible to know that more bridges and overpasses across Canada and the U.S. also fall under the category of being structurally deficient.

I have to say that coverage in the print press of the collapse was sub-par. The best coverage, as one might expect, was the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. My wife and I spent a hour each on the front section reading about the accident.

In Winnipeg, it has been noted that a few bridges are in need of repair in a bad way. The Arlington Street bridge and the St. James bridge were noted prominently. I have no idea what the timeframe for replacement of these bridges are and I'm surprised no one has asked. Given how much traffic is likely to go over the St. James bridge in the future, it should be a primary candidate for replacement. I think we have only gotten a vague idea of what is planned for Route 90/Kenaston and the bridge. Those plans ought to be announced soon. It isn't like this main artery is going to get any less busy what with the Kapyong Barracks re-development and with Waverley West being constructed.

Manitoba has seen more than it fair share of bridges and overpasses being damaged by trucks this year. We certainly don't want to see a bridge collapse because of neglect.

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