Manitoba's Infrastructure Minister says a final decision on what to do with the Ste. Agathe bridge should be released this winter.

Our province asked for feedback from the public on what improvements should be made to the 62-year-old bridge. There were more than 200 responses received.

One of the options would see the entire bridge deck, girders and railings replaced, while the roadway would be widened and a new separated sidewalk constructed. Sixty-eight per cent of the respondents noted the wider roadway and separated sidewalk would certainly have a positive impact on pedestrian and cyclist safety. However, this option would require two years worth of construction, with a minimum of one lane open at all times.

The other option would require a bridge closure and would see the replacement of the entire bridge deck and railings and wider lanes and sidewalks. This option would require single-lane closures and approximately 16 weeks of full bridge closure over the one-and-a-half-year construction period.

Both options would see an increase in the load carrying capacity of the bridge.

“The existing bridge was built in 1959 and serves as a vital link to Provincial Trunk Highway 75 that helps connect people, businesses and agricultural land on both sides of the Red River,” says Ron Schuler. “Our government has committed to investing in infrastructure across the province, and we wanted to hear from Manitobans to better understand the effects of this project and to gather feedback from the affected surrounding communities.”