Highway to Gillam third in worst roads poll so far

Provincial Road 280 to Gillam ranked third on CAA Manitoba’s worst road campaign as of March 24, with a little more than two weeks of voting to go.

“With thousands of votes so far, it’s clear Worst Roads demonstrates there is major public interest in the state of our streets, and serious demand that our next elected officials do something to improve our infrastructure and road safety,” said Erika Miller, public and media relations specialist with CAA Manitoba. “Manitobans have a lot to consider, especially when it comes to infrastructure, before they step into the voting booth on April 19.”

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Nearly 4,000 votes for more than 400 roads have been received at www.caamanitoba.com/worstroads since the campaign began. Participants can submit one vote per day for as many roads as they like up until April 6. The website also features submitted pictures of contenders for the worst roads title.

“Serious potholes have been popping up all over Manitoba, and we’ve had reports of hubcaps littering Pembina Highway and the Perimeter,” Miller said. “While this happens every year, it is worse this spring because it was so mild. Needless to say, our drivers have been consistently responding to tire calls, and it has prompted a number of votes in the campaign. But potholes aren’t the only issue. If your pet peeve is the lack of cycling lanes, your congested commute, or poor signage and safety, those are all good reasons to nominate a road.”

PR 280 topped the poll in 2015.

The unpaved highway heads northeast from PR 391 and is the only road link for Split Lake and Gillam. As the only highway linking Thompson to Manitoba Hydro’s Keeyask Generating station project, PR 280 is used heavily by large trucks as well as passenger vehicles.

Members of Tataskweyak Cree Nation blockaded the road in August 2014 to protest its condition and demand improvements.

PR 280 is scheduled to receive $28 million worth of improvements cost-shared by the provincial government and Manitoba Hydro. Following the 2014 blockade, NDP Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Eric Robinson said planning would begin immediately with the goal of starting that roadwork within 12 months. Preliminary work on PR 280 improvements was completed in the summer of 2015 the provincial government said in November.

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