For anyone who has travelled on the west Perimeter Highway (PTH 100) over the past three years, the seemingly never-ending construction on the double-span bridge crossing the Assiniboine River has undoubtedly been a source of immense consternation.
Delays associated with construction are a fact of life in Manitoba, particularly where the construction season is short. However, the fact that this bridge still remains under construction is nothing short of an outrage.
By way of comparison, the much-publicized bridge in St. Adolphe that collapsed was completely rebuilt in 18 months.
Today, “work” still continues on the bridge on the Perimeter.
Cross the bridge, however, and you won’t find any workers. There are just cones and signs telling you to slow down.
Scaffolding, but no workers
Despite the apparent lack of activity, a recent Twitter post from the official government account said that there was “no concrete timeline” for the restoration of four-lane traffic.
No further explanation was provided.
As I have passed through that “construction zone” over the past three years, I could not help but think that there was an intent to make this project into a quasi-permanent job.
More than a year ago, they actually dug up part of the shoulder to put this “Prepare to Stop” sign on what used to be a four-lane highway. There are stop signs on the approaches and a new traffic light on the approach from westbound Roblin Boulevard.
A good friend of mine recently suggested, half-jokingly, that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go through there in the middle of the night and collect all the cones.
It’s an idea that I suspect more than one driver has thought of during the past three years.
If there’s work that still needs to be done on that bridge, then they need get to it. But if they’re done, then they need to collect their stuff and move on. No one is trying to put them out of a job, but there are many highways across the province that need their urgent attention.
It’s time to go.