Red River Floodway Expansion Project Delivers 1-IN-300 Year Level of Flood Protection

    Floodway Capable of Withstanding Flood Level Equivalent to 1826 Flood
    of Record

    WINNIPEG, April 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Ten years after the 1997 Flood of the
Century, Premier of Manitoba, Gary Doer, and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg
South, Rod Bruinooge, on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced that the Red River
Floodway Expansion Project has delivered a 1-in-300 year level of flood
protection, which is equivalent to the 1826 flood - the largest flood in
Manitoba history.
    "Since construction on the expansion project began, crews have been
working to increase the capacity of the channel," said Premier Gary Doer.
"Today, we are marking a major milestone for the floodway project by
announcing that the floodway can now withstand a 1-in-300 year level flood -
equivalent to the largest flood in Manitoba's history - the flood of 1826.
Over the upcoming weeks, the Manitoba Floodway Authority will be tendering
additional work that will bring us closer to our final objective of providing
a 1-in-700 year level of flood protection."
    "The Manitoba Red River floodway expansion project is critical to the
long-term protection of Winnipeg and the surrounding municipalities," said
Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South, Rod Bruinooge. "The devastating flood
only ten years ago serves to underscore the importance of having the right
infrastructure in place, and Canada's New Government is delivering on our
commitment to get the project done."
    Also as part of today's announcement, the Manitoba Floodway Authority
(MFA) announced that TPG Pritchard Machine, a division of Pritchard
Engineering Co. Ltd., has been awarded a $5.8 million contract to undertake
mechanical, hydraulic and electrical upgrades of the Inlet Control Structure.
The Pritchard Group is a Manitoba company incorporated in 1923 and has worked
on a number of major projects throughout North America including the
restoration of the Golden Boy at the Manitoba Legislature.  Earlier this year,
TPG Pritchard Machine was awarded a related contract worth approximately
$700,000 to supply two new hydraulic cylinders for upgrades to the Inlet
Structure Gates. The upgrade of the Inlet Control Structure will begin in May
    Earlier today and in preparation for the upcoming summer construction
season on the floodway project, the MFA unveiled its upcoming Construction
Tender Plan that identified six channel excavation contracts as well as
tenders for the Outlet Control Structure, the CPR Keewatin Railway Bridge and
the CPR Emerson Railway Bridge. In April, the MFA is planning to tender
approximately $150 million in construction tenders on the expansion project.
    Construction on the Red River Floodway Expansion Project was officially
kicked off on September 23, 2005 and since that time, the floodway's capacity
has been increased from 1-in-90 year to 1-in-300 year flood level. To date,
approximately 31 kms, or approximately 64 per cent of the floodway channel, is
under excavation with approximately 8,000,000 cubic metres of earth have been
moved. To date over 1000 people have worked on the floodway project. Channel
excavation work is scheduled to be completed in 2009 with associated bridge
and related work being completed in 2010.
    Today's announcement was made beside the Trans-Canada Highway East Bridge
which has been built to the 1-in-700 year flood level and incorporates
acceleration and deceleration lanes to improve traffic safety.

    The Red River Floodway Expansion Project will provide significant flood
protection for the residents of Winnipeg, West St. Paul and East St. Paul. It
will divert more water around Winnipeg during major floods by more than
doubling the capacity of the existing floodway channel. By improving flood
protection to 1-in-700 year level of protection, floodway expansion will
protect hundreds of thousands of people, homes and businesses, and will
prevent more than $12 billion in damages to the provincial economy during a
major flood. Funding for this project is being shared equally by the
Government of Canada and the Province of Manitoba to a total of $665 million.

For further information:

For further information: Natalie Sarafian, Office of the Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, (613) 991-0700; Infrastructure
Canada, Communications and Promotion, (613) 948-1148; Jonathan Hildebrand,
Office of Premier Doer, (204) 945-1494; Ronuk Modha, Manitoba Floodway
Authority, (204) 945-4178

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