The Manitoba government announced addition of more than $1.14 million to fund 13 more projects to replace or improve municipal bridges.
"Closing a bridge disrupts traffic flow particularly in rural areas where there are fewer alternate routes," said Municipal Government Minister Stan Struthers. "The effects of severe weather and recent floods have increased the wear and tear on bridges and culverts. Over the past two years, we have been increasing the number of bridge improvement and replacement projects we will undertake in partnership with municipalities."
The Municipal Bridge Program provides 50 per cent cost-shared funding for major municipal bridge renewal and rehabilitation projects including the cost of preliminary and detailed design, and pre-engineering studies. This program is delivered in partnership with the Association of Manitoba Municipalities (AMM) and provincial funding is provided through the Building Manitoba Fund.
"The AMM is very pleased to be a part of the Municipal Bridge Program," said Doug Dobrowolski, president, AMM. "Municipal bridges provide important links both within our communities and between other communities, and these funds help to ensure these connections are maintained."
Seven of the 13 new projects involve bridge construction or renewal and the remaining six will receive funding this year for the preliminary or detailed design work, depending on the stage of the project. Pre-engineering work is a pre-requisite for eligibility for funding for construction. Minister Struthers noted this year's projects include $175,000 of funding for the expansion and enhancement of the Burnside Bridge in the Rural Municipality of Swan River.
"Farmers getting to fields or taking produce to market, commuters getting to jobs and tourists travelling to remote holiday sites rely on direct routes over land and over bridges," said Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn, who attended today's announcement in Swan River. "Efficient traffic flow adds convenience to travel and our economy, and keep both moving forward."
"The RM of Swan River welcomes the partnership of the Province of Manitoba in the construction of the new bridge over the Roaring River," said Lorne Henkelman, reeve, Rural Municipality of Swan River. "The financial contribution from the province will allow the RM of Swan River to maximize the impact of the financial resources we have set aside for infrastructure renewal projects in the municipality and the new bridge will serve our residents well for many decades to come."
Last year, the Manitoba government approved funding of more than $1.25 million for bridge and culvert replacement in the rural municipalities of Dauphin and Rhineland and the Town of Ste. Anne, as well as for preliminary or detailed design work for bridges in the City of Portage la Prairie, Town of Virden and the rural municipalities of Mountain, Stanley, Taché and Whitemouth.
In 2012, six projects shared more than $1 million in funding for bridge and culvert work.
To date, the Municipal Bridge Program has committed $3.4 million in cost-shared funding for municipal bridge renewal and rehabilitation projects.