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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 3:15 AM
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Manitoba twins Trans-Canada Highway before Saskatchewan!

The Manitoba government is one step closer to satisfying your need for speed.

Engineers have given the go-ahead for traffic to begin flowing at 2 p.m. today along the newly twinned portion of the Trans-Canada Highway all the way to the Saskatchewan border. The new section had been under construction for at least the last two years. It was one of the last barriers before the speed limit on the Trans-Canada almost right across the province is hiked to 110 kilometres per hour from the current 100 km/h, says Infrastructure Minister Ron Lemieux.

“That is something we’re going to do,” Lemieux said.

He said all he’s waiting for is a recommendation from the Highway Traffic Board on how to implement the speed increase, including dealing with intersections.

Twinning the highway to the Saskatchewan border was a 2003 NDP election promise. The project cost $32.8 million and the province footed 80 per cent of the bill. Ottawa picked up the rest.

The newly twinned stretch is 34 kilometres long and means the Trans-Canada is now four lanes wide and divided almost right across the province.

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A 16-kilometre stretch from Falcon Lake to the Ontario border is the only remaining portion that is a single-lane, undivided highway.

Lemieux said a divided four-lane highway is safer but he said drivers still need to exercise caution and not be lulled into thinking the road is so safe they can drive at excessive speeds.

“This isn’t the Indianapolis 500,” he said. “Accidents are not caused just by roads not being four lanes.”

The province has been criticized for not opening up portions of the newly twinned highway as they were completed. More than 11 kilometres of the twinned section has been done for more than a year and a half but hasn’t been opened.

Lemieux said engineers recommended against opening it in stages for safety reasons, which drew opposition scoffs.

Infrastructure critic Larry Maguire said leaving people to drive on the single-lane undivided highway for longer than necessary was unsafe. Two people were killed in crashes on that 11 kilometres in the last year.

Both crashes occurred when cars were passing on the undivided highway and hit oncoming traffic head-on.

Maguire said he is happy the road is finally opening, but said it took far too long.
He said the province should immediately look at twinning the remainder of the Trans-Canada all the way to the Ontario border.

Lemieux said his department is looking at how much it would cost to twin that section.

“It is going to be very pricey,” Lemieux said, noting it would require blasting through rocks and dealing with the numerous lakes in the area, many of which almost lap up against the existing highway.

He said there have been no decisions on whether Manitoba will twin the highway right to the Ontario border, but added he would like to see it twinned eventually, if possible.

The Highway Traffic Board is also looking at whether the speed limit should be raised to 110 km/h on Highway 75 and the south Perimeter Highway.

The speed limit on the Trans-Canada through much of Alberta has been 110 km/h for more than two decades.

Saskatchewan boosted the speed limited on all four-lane highways in that province, including the Trans-Canada, in 2003. In 2004, Saskatchewan reported no change in safety statistics.

There are 25 kilometres of the Trans-Canada in Saskatchewan not yet twinned. Construction on that section, between Moosomin and Wapella, is underway but will not be completed this year.
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 4:04 AM
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any pics
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  #3  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 5:04 AM
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good news, but the title is a bit deceiving. Like the article said, there are still 16 km of un-twinned highway left in Manitoba. Saskatchewan has 25 left, but construction is already underway

will Manitoba's remaining 16 km be twinned in the near future? Saskatchewan can still finish first!
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  #4  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 5:08 AM
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no its runing threw a national park.......... and aww that streach is in need of a twining along with the masive strech threw onterio....
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  #5  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 6:05 AM
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In related news..
As of Wednesday the stretch of the Yellowhead Hwy. between Saskatoon and the Alberta border is now completely twinned and open to traffic. Now it's smooth sailing to the Edmonton IKEA and West Ed. Mall. Oh yippee!
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  #6  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by ReginaGuy View Post
good news, but the title is a bit deceiving. Like the article said, there are still 16 km of un-twinned highway left in Manitoba. Saskatchewan has 25 left, but construction is already underway

will Manitoba's remaining 16 km be twinned in the near future? Saskatchewan can still finish first!
Pretty sure Saskatchewan will finish first in the race. But if they need the bragging rights let them have it. We here in Saskatchewan know the TRUTH!
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  #7  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 11:25 AM
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no its runing threw a national park.......... and aww that streach is in need of a twining along with the masive strech threw onterio....
PROVINCIAL park 1ajs, not National. Whiteshell is provincial and all the more reason that highway stretch should be twinned, thousands travel every weekend to their cottages there and in Kenora. I can see it costing mega-mega-millions though due to the rock cliffs and water. It would need at least 2 bridges.
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  #8  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ReginaGuy View Post
good news, but the title is a bit deceiving. Like the article said, there are still 16 km of un-twinned highway left in Manitoba. Saskatchewan has 25 left, but construction is already underway

will Manitoba's remaining 16 km be twinned in the near future? Saskatchewan can still finish first!

Lets not forget that the 16 km remaining highway runs through rock outcrops and along shield lakes. It's not easy to "dig" through that kind of terrain and the cost is more than likely intimidating, which is exactly the reason why Ontario, and even BC and Alberta with similar issues, haven't been able to twin their portions of the TC highway. Saskatchewan has it the easiest, as their portion of the TC highway run through any such terrain.

But either way, it took both Manitoba and Saskatchewan way too long to twin this highway. Embarrassing, if you ask me.
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  #9  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 3:01 PM
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But either way, it took both Manitoba and Saskatchewan way too long to twin this highway. Embarrassing, if you ask me.
I agree!
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  #10  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 3:10 PM
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Beating Saskatchewan at this is hardly an accomplishment.

But, I will say kudos to both governements for finally, actually, maybe, coming close to reaching this feat.
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Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 3:19 PM
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I'm jealous of your speed limits! Not even a full freeway and the speed limit is 110. In Ontario the freeway speed limits are stuck at 100 and on almost all the undivided highways it's 80. Of course everyone ignores the speed limits, including the police.

You're lucky you don't have to deal with the Canadian Shield. The 400 extension to Sudbury is going to take another 10 years because of that.
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Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 3:50 PM
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^ the last short stretch of undivided near the Ontario border is all that's left for Manitoba's TCH. Not surprisingly, this is the only area for Manitoba's portion that is in the heavy shield terrain...

It will probably cost a ridiculous amount of money to twin the shield country remaining in NW Ontario.

Somehow I doubt Manitoba will bother doing the last little bit of it's shield section until Ontario nears our border with twinned highways. That's exactly the current situation occurring in Sask, and was what spurred our MB gov't to twin the sections leading into Sask.
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Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 4:39 PM
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Originally Posted by wags_in_the_peg View Post
PROVINCIAL park 1ajs, not National. Whiteshell is provincial and all the more reason that highway stretch should be twinned, thousands travel every weekend to their cottages there and in Kenora. I can see it costing mega-mega-millions though due to the rock cliffs and water. It would need at least 2 bridges.
oh God hopefully they don't do it, Whiteshell wilderness is already dilapidated by those horrible cottages.
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Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 6:22 PM
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I can see the headlines now...

"Nunavut twins Trans-Canada highway before Ontario"
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  #15  
Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 6:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Greco Roman View Post
Lets not forget that the 16 km remaining highway runs through rock outcrops and along shield lakes. It's not easy to "dig" through that kind of terrain and the cost is more than likely intimidating, which is exactly the reason why Ontario, and even BC and Alberta with similar issues, haven't been able to twin their portions of the TC highway. Saskatchewan has it the easiest, as their portion of the TC highway run through any such terrain.

But either way, it took both Manitoba and Saskatchewan way too long to twin this highway. Embarrassing, if you ask me.
The only portion of the TCH not twinned in Alberta is in Banff National Park, a Federal responsibility. It probabaly would have been done 20 years ago if left up to the province.
I'm glad the portions in Sask & Man. are getting done but I agree with you - it's really embarrassing (not to mention dangerous) that a country like Canada does not have a single route coast to coast that is twinned.
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Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 6:45 PM
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In related news..
As of Wednesday the stretch of the Yellowhead Hwy. between Saskatoon and the Alberta border is now completely twinned and open to traffic. Now it's smooth sailing to the Edmonton IKEA and West Ed. Mall. Oh yippee!
That is pretty impressive. I drove that stretch in July and it looked nowhere near being completed. I didn't think they would get it done this year.
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Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 6:46 PM
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The only portion of the TCH not twinned in Alberta is in Banff National Park, a Federal responsibility. It probabaly would have been done 20 years ago if left up to the province.
I'm glad the portions in Sask & Man. are getting done but I agree with you - it's really embarrassing (not to mention dangerous) that a country like Canada does not have a single route coast to coast that is twinned.
Just a small correction to your statement. There are actually 2 designated TCH's - #1 and #16. #16 is also fully twinned in Alberta excepth through Jasper National Park (also a federal responsibility).
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Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 8:28 PM
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The only portion of the TCH not twinned in Alberta is in Banff National Park, a Federal responsibility. It probabaly would have been done 20 years ago if left up to the province.
I'm glad the portions in Sask & Man. are getting done but I agree with you - it's really embarrassing (not to mention dangerous) that a country like Canada does not have a single route coast to coast that is twinned.
It's embarrassing we have freakin' traffic lights on our highways. Harper needs to announce a major national highway initiative where within 10 years you could go from Vancouver to where ever the TCH ends in NL without encountering a traffic light, etc. In other words an actual real freeway. This would create a ton of jobs, improve safety immensely, help lower the cost of products, etc. We should be ashamed that we are the only industrialized nation that does not have a national highway plan.
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Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 8:34 PM
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^Well, to be somewhat kind to Canada's governments over the years. We have about the longest stretch of road to actually build and the fewest citizens to pay taxes to support it. Infrastructure in such a gigantic country with sparse population density is difficult. Take mass transit, take highways, take healthcare, take rail service. It's a common issue across the board and Canada with fewer tax dollars to build larger infrastructure has to make some ugly choices some times.

Yes, the TCH does suck big time in a lot of places and could seriously us some improvement (removal of lights, twinning, general maintenance) in places.
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Old Posted Oct 25, 2007, 11:43 PM
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It's embarrassing we have freakin' traffic lights on our highways. Harper needs to announce a major national highway initiative where within 10 years you could go from Vancouver to where ever the TCH ends in NL without encountering a traffic light, etc. In other words an actual real freeway. This would create a ton of jobs, improve safety immensely, help lower the cost of products, etc. We should be ashamed that we are the only industrialized nation that does not have a national highway plan.
Is a freeway really necessary through the Prairies? Except in the cities, traffic volumes are usually in the 4000-5000 AADT range (link), and lower over the north shore of Lake Superior. I can't think of a single Ontario freeway with traffic counts that low. I think four lanes across the country is smart and doable, but it doesn't have to be a full freeway. Something like a British dual carriageway would be plenty.

Incidentally, roundabouts instead of traffic signals at rural intersections work wonders to keep traffic moving.
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