Manitoba premier commits to Trans-Canada Highway twinning project

Manitoba’s premier has committed to twinning the Trans-Canada Highway between Manitoba and Ontario, according to a letter she sent to the family of the victims of a deadly crash.

In a letter obtained by CTV News, Premier Heather Stefanson said the province will soon tender and award contracts to engineers for conceptual and functional design studies for the first phase of the twinning project.

“Twinning the Highway will significantly improve safety for motorists, and our government is committed to getting the job done,” Stefanson’s letter, which was sent on Wednesday, reads.

The letter was in response to Peter Lugli, who has been advocating for the twinning since his brother Mark and nephew Jacob died in a horrific crash in 2019. The father and son had been driving from their home in Dryden to a golf tournament in Selkirk along a busy and undivided section of the Trans-Canada.

Lugli had sent an open letter to the premier earlier in August, calling on the province to twin the highway. He said the entire family was elated to read the letter from the premier on Wednesday.

“To be frank, if there’s any light that can shine from this, this is it,” Lugli said in an interview with CTV News Winnipeg from his home in Seattle. “There was a lot of elation, there was a lot of relief that the right thing was being done.”

East of the Ontario border, work to twin the highway between Kenora and Manitoba is already underway. The Ontario government said its first phase of the project is expected to be completed by 2024.

READ MORE: Ontario moves forward on twinning highway between Manitoba border and Kenora

In the premier’s letter, Stefanson said the government is committed to working with stakeholders and Indigenous Rights Holders, including working with the Province of Ontario to coordinate and align the projects.

In her letter, Stefanson said the province will be announcing a proposed timeline this fall for the twinning project. She said in the interim, the province has been making safety improvements to the area where Lugli’s brother and nephew died.

“We have installed information signs about the access to Barren Lake Road, trimmed the bush at the intersection to improve sightlines, and installed ‘No Stopping’ signs to address parked vehicles at the intersection,” Stefanson said in the letter. “We are confident these changes will help improve safety at the intersection while our government begins the significant process of twinning the Highway.”

Lugli said he understands the project will take time and effort and resources to twin the highway.

“We’re seeing concrete actions today. Not just words, but actual actions and commitments and a timeline that is real,” he said. “So for us, we’re extremely happy with the result.”

Stefanson said she is also seeking federal support for ‘critical infrastructure projects.’ The premier is set to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during his visit to Winnipeg today.

CTV News has reached out to the premier for more comment and will update this story.

With files from CTV News’ Josh Crabb

View original article here Source