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Kenaston Widening from Taylor to Ness Approved

February 07, 2012

A motion to accept Option 4 for the widening of Kenaston Blvd from Taylor to Ness was presented to Council and approved. Preliminary information about this plan is available on the City of Winnipeg website at the following address:

http://winnipeg.ca/publicworks/MajorProjects/Route90/

Council meeting information:

http://winnipeg.ca/clkdmis/ViewPdf.asp?SectionId=298777

Free Press article - http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/entertainment/arts/City-council-meeting-Jan-25-2012-137979713.html

Background

In 2007 the City conducted a preliminary design study for Route 90 between Ness and Taylor, which focused on improvements in areas such as safety, vehicular operations, Transit operations, Active Transportation opportunities, capital cost, and reducing neighbourhood and property impacts; such as reducing vehicular emissions, attenuating traffic noise and reducing neighbourhood shortcutting.

FAQ

 

Q: Why is the Kenaston Expansion Project needed?

A: Route 90 is a vital north-south transportation corridor linking major residential, employment and commercial areas in the southwest and northwest quadrants of the City. It is a major truck route and is the Winnipeg link in the Mid-Continental Trade Corridor. Already one of Winnipeg’s busiest thoroughfares, Route 90’s role in the movement of people and goods will expand with developments.

City standards provide justification for widening to six lanes when the traffic volume reaches 35,000 vehicles per day. The current volume is over 50,000 vehicles per day. The volume is expected to increase to 70,000 per day by 2030 due to new development projects to the south. Insufficient capacity results in congestion and regional traffic spilling onto residential streets not designed for this traffic.

Q: What does the preferred alignment look like?

A: The preferred alignment expands Kenaston on either side of the current roadway. The portion that will have the most impact is that to the north of Tuxedo, where the proposed alignment expands slightly to the north. A detailed map is available here:

http://winnipeg.ca/clkdmis/ViewPdf.asp?SectionId=298779

Q: What would the road and the intersections look like?

A: A cross-section of the street is available here (insert map). Find map available under item 4, attachment 1 of the ‘Report of the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works’:

http://winnipeg.ca/clkdmis/ViewPdf.asp?SectionId=298778

Q: Where is the process presently at?

A: The preliminary design has been approved by the City of Winnipeg Council, however, the project cannot start without Federal Government financial support.

Q: Can the project begin before the Kapyong Barrack and Air Force Housing issues are negotiated?

A: Yes, the major work will involve adding an additional span to the St. James Bridge and re-alignment which can be done in a first stage. This would still require Federal Government funding and would add to the over-all cost of the project.

Q: Where are negotiations regarding the Kapyong Barracks lands and acquisition of a row of the PMQ (military base) housing?

A: Pending. Timelines are not available at this point however this motion will be used to help move matter forward at the Federal level.

Q: What steps were taken to consult with the public?

Community residents and businesses were consulted for this plan. These public consultations included first person interviews, small meetings, survey questionnaires and two public open houses between fall 2008 and fall 2009. A diagram of the consultation process is available here:

http://winnipeg.ca/publicworks/MajorProjects/Route90/42031TimelineWebJan8-09.pdf

Citizen comments are available here:

http://winnipeg.ca/publicworks/MajorProjects/Route90/PDF/Route90-OpenHouse1Comments.pdf

In addition, I have taken it upon myself to speak with and meet local residents, find answers to questions, and to provide periodic updates for this project on my website. I have brought forward the concerns addressed by local residents and the broader community to the project manager and to Council before voting on this decision.

Q: How will this affect the River Heights/Ft. Garry Ward?

A: The proposed expansion will reduce commercial and through-traffic along adjacent streets.

In order to reduce traffic noise levels, sound attenuation walls are proposed. The walls would range in height from 2.4m in rear or side yards to 1.2m in front yards. Removal of the local street and lane connections to Kenaston Boulevard will allow for longer continuous sections and more effective sound attenuation.

The new intersection alignments at Grant and Kenaston and Corydon and Kenaston will address safety issues.

Directly adjacent to Kenaston, 64 homes in the River Heights / Fort Garry Ward will need to be partially and fully expropriated in order to expand the road. (find out how many full as Corydon is less and increases at you go to Academy.)

In addition, an access road will connect Boulton Bay residents to Taylor, in order to better accommodate southbound traffic originating on Boulton Bay.

Q: How will Active Transportation be accommodated in the new design?

A: The proposed plan has a sidewalk on each side and a cycling path along the west side of Kenaston between Wellington Cres to the north and through the Kenaston underpass to the south. The plan recommends that the City connect the cycling path with other existing active transportation paths in the area. The plan also recommends a pedestrian and cyclist overpass across Kenaston at Lockston Avenue.

Q: Will there be an active transportation trail on the East side?

A: The plan has not been finalized. Attempts will be made to get an active transportation trail on the East side however there may not be the room available.

Q: How will the new plans affect transit? Is there room for a future rapid Transit route along this corridor?

Route 90 has also been identified as a potential transit quality corridor in the City’s Transportation Master Plan. A Transit Quality Corridor is a major transit corridor that has a comprehensive set of coordinated transit priority measures.

Potential improvements for Transit operations along the proposed Kenaston expansion include queue-jump lanes, transit priority signals, upgraded centralized transit stops and real-time scheduling information displays. The location and specific types of improvements for each intersection will be determined at the detailed design stage.

Q: What other options were considered for the Kenaston Widening?

A: Five conceptual alternatives for widening Route 90 were developed by the project consultant team and an interdepartmental project steering committee and presented to the public at a two day open house event in January 2009. These options included the following:

Option 1 - Widen Kenaston on the west side

Option 2 - Widen Kenaston on the east side

Option 3 - Widen Kenaston on both sides

Option 4 - Widen Kenaston on alternating sides

Option 5 - One-Way Pair using the former Oak Point Rail line for northbound lanes

The three highest rated alternatives (Options 1, 4, and 5) underwent preliminary design and further assessment taking into account comments received during the initial Open House event. The resulting preliminary designs were then presented to the public at a second Open House event held in November 2009.

At both Open House events Option 4 (Widening on alternating sides) received the highest rating by the public and by the project steering committee and was therefore selected as the recommended widening option.

The most significant disadvantages of the other four options are the following:

Option 1 Widen West - This option was the second most preferred option; however, it requires land from the Manitoba Youth Centre and results in a poor alignment with the St. James Bridges.

Option 2 Widen East - This option was considered infeasible due to the substantial negative impact upon commercial and condominium properties. It requires the acquisition of developed properties on the east side for the full length of Kenaston Boulevard including all privately owned homes on the east side of Kenaston Boulevard.

Option 3 Widen on Both Sides - The property acquisitions necessary for this alternative are the highest of the 5 options. It requires removal of all homes on both sides of Kenaston Boulevard, yet offers no operational improvement compared to the preferred option 4.

Option 5 One Way Pair - While this option performs nearly as well as the other 4 options it creates an island effect, surrounding a pocket of homes and Carpathia School with high traffic volumes and introduces high traffic volumes into areas that currently carry only moderate residential traffic volumes. It also separates northbound and southbound transit movements making transferring more difficult. Due to recent building projects within the former Oak Point rail right-of-way the property acquisition costs for this alternative could be as much as $15M higher than the recommended alignment. By separating the northbound and southbound lanes, this option would also double the number of individual signalized intersections between Taylor Avenue and Academy Road.

Q: Has the City considered having a raised highway?

A: The enormous capital expense and ongoing maintenance costs, the added expropriation needed for onramps and off-ramps, and detrimental effects to the neighbourhood being under a freeway make this option an impractical solution for Kenaston.