Plans to improve dangerous intersection

Junction of Hwy 1 & Hwy 83 - the longest highway in Canada meets the longest highway in North America - currently without a merge lane!

The province is planning improvements for rail crossings and intersections on the TransCanada, at Virden and at Elkhorn.

Three representatives from Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation attended the RM of Wallace-Woodworth council meeting, Jan.14, to explain plans for summer construction along Hwy 1.

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MIT engineer Michael Kohinski explained the work near Virden would include “raising the grade on Hwy 83 to align with Hwy One. When we add our right turn lane we’re going to offset it, so the offset right turn traffic is going to move further over, off of PTH1….”

Councillor Barb Stambuski asked about an acceleration lane where Hwy 83 (south) intersects Hwy 1. She said, “Right now, we have the longest highway in Canada meeting the longest highway in North America and it’s a very, very poor intersection.”

But the nearby rail crossing on Hwy 1 restricts a merge lane, Kohinski said.

Stambuski countered, “Right now that crossing is so bad that everybody pulls over into the side where the acceleration lane would be anyway.”

Kohinski explained, “We’re digging out both sets of tracks. CP’s going to come through and replace both crossings with concrete. You’ll see a cross over detour is going to be put in place.” Also, rumble strips are planned to warn of the stop sign on Hwy 83 as well.

New curbs are planned for the junction of King St. and dedicated left turn lanes are tentatively planned. Kohinski said, “We’re going to improve drainage and we’re actually looking at re-configuring of traffic on King Street as it enters on PTH 1.”

Work on turning lanes is also planned at Elkhorn’s Richhill Ave., Road 256 and PTH 41.

For PTH 259, Kohinski said the province “is in preliminary stages of looking at the overflow structure in the valley to make sure there aren’t huge flooding issues in the future.”

Reeve Canart also explained problems where the highway pavement curves and the gravel road merges on 259 near Lenore, saying it was difficult to grade the gravel because the asphalt aprons were degraded.

Council was told there were no plans for that road.

Councillor Caldwell said the road is narrow, pavement is eroding and asked how council could get PTH 259 on the province’s list of projects.

Kohinski said he would take that concern back to his office.


© Virden Empire-Advance