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Public Works

Waverley Underpass Study

The Waverley Underpass Study is now complete.
Please see Waverley Underpass Project for more information.

Due to rapid growth in the southwest quadrant of the City and increasing traffic congestion due to heavy train operations, upgrading the Waverley crossing of the CNR Rivers rail line has become a priority in recent years. With approximately 30,000 vehicles and between 35 and 40 train movements passing through the intersection daily, the Waverley rail crossing has become a major bottleneck.

The Waverley Underpass Project will include replacement of the existing at-grade railway crossing at Waverley and Taylor with an underpass, along with reconstruction and rehabilitation of Waverley Street and increasing Taylor Avenue between Waverley Street and Lindsay Street to four lanes. This project will not only improve traffic flow but will also enhance safety, mobility and capacity as well as active transportation within the project area.

Project Status:

At the February 24, 2016 Council meeting, City Council voted to move forward with the Waverley Underpass Project. A preliminary design has been completed and the detailed design process will take place throughout 2016, with an expected construction start date in early 2017.

Preliminary Design and Draft Concept:

In early 2014, the City of Winnipeg initiated a preliminary design study for the Waverley Underpass Project. The project team was tasked with developing a high level design for a grade separation of Waverley Street and the CNR Rivers rail line. The design also includes intersection and road improvements within close proximity of the project area, primarily along Waverley Street. Based on traffic modelling, the transportation study, stakeholder consultation, and the existing constraints, the design team developed a draft concept for the underpass structure, roadway upgrades, and intersection improvements: Draft Concept Map. This concept would be further refined through the detailed design process, which will be taking place throughout 2016.

Public Consultation:

Between June and November 2014, the project team hosted two rounds of public consultation, meeting with residents, property managers, landowners, businesses, organizations, and other key stakeholders in the project area. A public open house was also held on December 9, 2014 (view the open house display boards).

The purpose of the consultation strategy was to deliver information to key stakeholders in a timely manner, while receiving input on potential project impacts and design alternatives. The consultation team worked directly with the design team to help address stakeholder concerns and mitigate potential impacts where possible.

Frequently Asked Questions:

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When will this be built?
Detailed design will take place throughout 2016 and construction will begin around January 2017. Construction would be mostly complete by October 2019 with some minor work such as landscaping continuing into 2020.
Will I still be able to use Waverley and Taylor?
Both Waverley Street and Taylor Avenue are expected to remain open to traffic during construction via a detour. Please see the proposed detour map for details about how traffic will flow during construction.
How much is this going to cost?
Total project cost is approximately $155 million. This is a Class 3 estimate (accurate within +30% to -20% of the final construction cost). Estimated costs will be refined to a higher level of detail as part of the detailed design process.
How will the project be paid for?
The project will be funded by the City of Winnipeg, the Province of Manitoba and the Government of Canada, as well as contributions by CN who has a financial obligation for a portion of the rail crossing under an existing agreement with the City of Winnipeg.
Can the rail line be moved out of the city?
Relocating rail lines is a long term concept that would require consensus from a multitude of stakeholders. Building the underpass will not prevent discussions in regards to rail relocation. The public service is working in close collaboration with its partners at the Province of Manitoba and Economic Development Winnipeg to perform a comprehensive rail study. The City needs a proactive plan now to accommodate the rapid growth in the southwest quadrant of the City and to alleviate the increasing traffic congestion in this area due to heavy train operations.
Will properties be required, either during construction or post-construction?
The vast majority of the project can be built on City owned land and right-of-way. However, construction easements or small parcels of land will be needed for the construction of this project. The project team has been in contact with potentially affected landowners throughout the design process.
How will transit be affected?
Bus routes and bus stops will be relocated or rerouted during construction. Please see the following links for the proposed temporary and permanent locations of transit routes and stops before, during, and after construction.
How will active transportation facilities be affected?
A temporary active transportation pathway will be provided on the west side of the roadway detour to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists during construction. The final configuration of active transportation pathways is shown on the overall concept map, and features pathways on both sides of Waverley Street, as well as a new pathway on the north side of Taylor Avenue.
Was an overpass considered?
An overpass was considered early on in the design process. However, due to heights, clearance requirements, property impacts, and other engineering constraints, this option was deemed unfeasible.
What are the environmental impacts?
There are no environmental impacts of note that would result from this project. Soil sampling within the proposed underpass area indicates no issues of concern, and is consistent with Manitoba Conservation regulations. The project would also involve reconstruction of the existing rail bed and replacement of the rail tracks in the study area with seamless rail, which may decrease vibration and noise from rail activities.
Will traffic increase as a result of this project?
The results of the transportation study and traffic modeling indicate that traffic as a whole may increase due to overall growth in the southwest quadrant of the city. However, traffic is expected to flow much better due to the elimination of the congestion caused by trains, resulting in an improvement to traffic in the area overall.
Will the project involve changes to street function and design in River Heights, such as the current one-way designation on Waverley north of Grant?
No changes are proposed for the existing street functions and patterns in River Heights.
Is a Sterling Lyon connection to Taylor or Pembina still being considered?
No, this option was examined by the City of Winnipeg, and is no longer being considered. The Waverley location continues to be the preferred rail crossing location, and has been identified as a potential crossing location since at least the early 1970's. The right-of way and property required for the Waverley Underpass is largely assembled, and would have minimal property impacts. In addition, there is an existing agreement in place with CN Rail for a grade separated rail crossing at Waverley, which obligates the railway to pay for a portion of the crossing.

For more information please contact:

David Marsh
Phone: 204-453-2301 ext. 4094

Last update: January 8, 2020

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