Province Commissions Hydraulic Assessment for Red River at PTH 75

Mar 18, 2010 | Government News

A hydraulic assessment of the Red River, including river flows in the Morris area, is the next phase of the plan to improve flood protection on PTH 75, Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Steve Ashton announced today.   

This assessment will help determine the impact of potential flood protection works in the area, which may include the construction of a new, higher bridge across the Morris River, he said.

The Honourable Steve Ashton

The Honourable Steve Ashton

“Now that phase one of our PTH 75 plan is nearly complete, we are moving forward with phase two of our plan which is focused on addressing the complex set of challenges associated with PTH 75 around Morris,” said Ashton. “This is by far the most challenging component in our long-term plan to improve PTH 75.”  

Since 2006, the province has completed $75 million of work on PTH 75 which focused on the sections of highway north of Aubigny and south of St. Jean Baptiste.  These lanes were raised 0.3 metres (one foot) higher, making them capable of remaining open at flood levels equal to or higher than Interstate 29 in the U.S.  In 2010, another $15 million more worth of work is scheduled to be completed. 

The assessment will closely examine the major challenges associated with the PTH 75 and the Morris River Bridge, the minister said. It is the most vulnerable link in the route to the U.S., as rising water levels reach the girders and spill over the bridge causing PTH 75 to temporarily close, he added. 

“One option is to move the Morris River crossing farther north of town and build the higher bridges to the north of Morris,” Ashton said. “We need to find an option that is feasible while being mindful of what kind of impacts it would have on the surrounding area.”  

The options will be brought to surrounding communities in the area for extensive consultations which are scheduled to take place in the coming weeks. 

The minister noted that, in the meantime, should PTH 75 need to be temporarily closed due to high water, alternative detour routes will be signed that are fully capable of handling all traffic including heavy trucks. 

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