“Manitoba Commits to Twinning the Trans-Canada Highway: The World’s Longest Road”
The Province of Manitoba has begun work on twinning the Trans-Canada Highway from the Ontario border to Falcon Lake, Manitoba, a distance of 16 KM. Manitoba Premier Heather Stefanson said work began last month – which includes tree clearing and other activities – and the project is expected to be finished in the fall of 2024.
Stefanson said it’s important Manitobans have a safe highway to drive on. She added, “That is why we have prioritized this work, as it not only serves as a key trade route but is one of the busiest stretches of highways, especially during the summer months for cottagers and travellers.”
Calls to twin the highway came after a fatal crash in 2019 killed a father and son driving home to Dryden, Ont, following a golf tournament in Selkirk, Man.
In September 2022, the premier confirmed in a letter that the province had committed to twinning the highway.
The new construction will create four lanes of traffic from Falcon Lake to the Manitoba-Ontario border and the 700 meter’s leading up to the Ontario border to align with Ontario’s new four-lane highway.
As part of the announcement, the province noted that a company was chosen to complete a conceptual design study of the entire 16-kilometre stretch of the highway project.
Tetra Tech Canada Inc. will complete the study. It will look at route alignment options, new or modified interchanges for Provincial Road 301 and Provincial Trunk Highway 44, the potential for eliminating three remaining intersections, access requirements to Hunt and Lyons lakes, options for replacing the PR 301 flyover and additional interchange or grade separations.
The province said the study is expected to take two years and will include consultation with
Indigenous rights holders and land and business owners, the public and stakeholders.
Aaron Dolyniuk, the executive director of the Manitoba Trucking Association, said the organization welcomes the news from the province.
“This road improvement will have a positive impact on all road users. It will improve road safety not only for Manitoba's trucking companies but all carriers who operate across Canada, as well as the general public,” he said in a news release.
The Trans-Canada Highway is the principal highway of Canada and the world’s longest national road. The road extends west-east between the Pacific and Atlantic coasts across the breadth of the country for 4,860 miles (7,821 km) between Victoria, British Columbia and St. John’s, Newfoundland. It passes through all 10 Canadian provinces, links many of the country’s leading cities, and allows access to important national and provincial parks. Ferries link Vancouver Island to the mainland and Newfoundland to the rest of Canada.
Large amounts of the Trans Canada Highway in Alberta were twinned during the 2000s. Despite these many upgrades, over half of the mainline Trans-Canada highway remains in its original two-lane state. Only about 15 per cent of the main line’s length is composed of a freeway comparable to the Interstate Highway System.
All provinces have twinning programs underway, starting around major population centres.