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The mayor of Emerson hopes he can convince the province to allow commercial development along Highway 75 near the border.
Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation is working to redesign the highway at the border to accommodate the increasing flow of traffic at the province's busiest port of entry. Wayne Arseny wants them to incorporate a place for commercial activity in that reconfiguration. Arseny feels such a move would have positive economic spinoffs for his community. "Every community, every border crossing in Canada, when you cross at customs, has some type of commercial development; a service plaza, food and concessions that I think the travelling public wants and expects at that border point."
Arseny points to the Windsor/Detroit crossing in Ontario where there are a variety of commercial enterprises next to the port of entry. "When you come to Emerson you don't see any development like that and I think that's a bad thing." He explains where businesses could set up to provide their services.
Arseny says town council hasn't seen the final plan on how the highway will be reconfigured at the border. "They are looking at what kind of configurations can be made along that portion of highway to move traffic in and out of the port of entry while sticking to their safety strategy. We definitely want to be a part of the solution for highway traffic and not an impediment, but I think the province needs to dust off the rule book and realize that traffic movement at that port is a lot different than it used to be."
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