|Soon to be a thing of the past?|
Currently, Waverley Street has a grade crossing with the busy two-track CN Rivers subdivision. The Waverley Underpass project page says about 30,000 vehicles use the crossing daily, with 35-40 daily train movements through the crossing. Personally I think that number (of train movements) is low.
The intent of the project is to replace the grade crossing with an underpass (road under the tracks) and widen nearby Taylor Avenue to four lanes west of Waverley, and make some modifications to intersections to increase capacity.
|CN blocking the Waverley Street crossing|
The total cost of the project is estimated to be $155 million, with a margin of error of -20% to +30%, meaning it could reach $200 million. The money for this project would come from all three levels of government, as well as an unspecified contribution from CN. They are requesting $45.875 million from the province and the federal government, and the city expects to pay $63 million.
I think it's interesting that there are two rather large sole-source contracts specified:
- Manitoba Hydro, up to $13 million plus over expenditures at the discretion of the Chief Administrative Officer
- Dillon Consulting Ltd., up to $12.3 million plus over expenditures at the discretion of the Chief Administrative Officer
This is how it looks currently. Waverley runs north-south through the centre of the map.
|Waverley and area - current|
One of the controversial aspects of this project is that Waverley is not a major road north of the CN tracks. Part of the project is to widen Taylor Avenue west of Waverley to make it 4 lanes all the way, and to improve Waverley north to Grant Avenue and improve the Waverley-Grant intersection to improve capacity.
This is the work that is proposed to be done:
|Waverley and area - proposed|
Given that a detailed design has not been completed, and this project seems to be on a rush schedule, I think the chances of the cost increasing above the forecast $155 million are high.
Given that the city's revenue is just about $1 billion/year, and our city debt is about $1 billion (having doubled in the last five years), I don't see how we can take this on, as well as the stage 2 rapid transitway. We need to rein in the spending... and maybe spend it to help divert all the raw sewage we are discharging into rivers.
But that's just my opinion.