Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Monday, January 11, 2010
Two Spans for Disraeli Freeway
The city is already warning that the costs could escalate from $195 million for the reconstruction of the Disraeli Freeway. Today it was announced that two spans would take the place of the old bridges.
West End Dumplings gave a good historical overview of Disraeli's past building problems. It may prove a bit of a shock that the crossings have been talked about since 1913.
The present spans were put in place by 1960 and paved in 1971. Since then the bridges have served the city well but they are getting old and a choke point for traffic.
The proposal that the provincial NDP government had a hand in shaping was reconstruction that caused very little disruption. Since there are NDP ridings north of the spans, it is easy to see that the government did not want a two year closure with an election going on.
The result of keeping the old spans while constructing news ones is a price that will be tens of millions more and there are already warnings that the costs could rise.
Construction will likely start in 2011 and will include a pedestrian and bicycle span using the old span's infrastructure. Completion might be some time in 2013.
I think the costs in this time of deficit is going to be a tough pill no matter how necessary the project. And if the costs soar past $200 million, I expect that there could be pushback from the electorate if taxes rise or cuts occur elsewhere.
And this is just one bridge project. Wait till the St. James Bridge project comes up.