- Investigate pavement condition, utilities, land drainage, and traffic characteristics
- Plan for replacement of the existing Bunn’s Creek crossing
- Determine how best we can move people and goods safely, efficiently and in an accessible manner using all modes
- Design a solution that installs a median, improves intersections, and manages access onto and off of Henderson Highway
What is the Henderson Highway North Improvements Study?
The Henderson Highway North Improvements Study is looking to improve safety, traffic flow, and livability along Henderson Highway from Gilmore Avenue to the north city limit at Glenway Avenue. This study is unique, as Henderson Highway serves many purposes as a major city route; connecting our neighbourhoods, providing access to residential and commercial properties, and transporting people, goods and services with diverse needs.
Why is the study being done now?
As the City of Winnipeg continues to grow, the Henderson Highway corridor will need to be upgraded to meet the current and future needs of Winnipeggers. Henderson Highway is a vital transportation connection, and has been designated by the Pedestrian and Cycling Strategies as a multimodal corridor. It is one of the city’s main travel corridors, serving passenger vehicles, trucks, transit, pedestrians, and cyclists alike.
What will the study look at?
As part of the study we will:
When would this project be built?
As there is no funding yet assigned to building this project, there is no anticipated timeline for construction. We will develop a Class 3 (+30% to -20%) cost estimate, which will be considered as part of the investment planning and capital budgeting process, following Phase 3 engagement.
How much will this project cost?
The current Class 4 (-30% to +60%) is $40M assuming construction were to occur in 2027. An updated Class 3 (-20% to +30%) cost estimate with recommended construction timing will be confirmed as part of the investment planning and capital budgeting process.
- This plan was written in the 1970s
- It no longer aligns with city-wide land use and development plans, namely OurWinnipeg and Complete Communities
- A review done as part of this study found it has led to unpredictable development standards and decision-making guided by outdated policy
- These findings, and recommendations to mitigate them, will be included in the project's final report.
What do you mean by preliminary design?
Preliminary design studies allow the City to plan for improvements by determining the nature and scope of changes required to solve an identified problem. This helps us determine the approximate investment needed to make the changes and set a timeline for making them. In the case of this project, we’re using the preliminary design study to answer questions like: How can we improve safety? What impacts would potential changes have on the community? What type of pedestrian and cycling infrastructure should be installed? How can we improve the community’s experience with Transit? What impacts would potential changes have on utilities and properties? And how should construction be staged?
Why do the proposed improvements end at Glenway Avenue?
Glenway Avenue is the limit of City jurisdiction. North of Glenway Avenue, Henderson Highway becomes Provincial Road (PR) 204, which is the jurisdiction of the Province of Manitoba. Improvements outside the city limit would be at the discretion of the Province and the RM of East St. Paul.
Will this project require acquisition of private property?
Partial acquisition of some privately-owned property on the west side of Henderson Highway would likely be required if the proposed design moves forward. In this case, the City would coordinate directly with affected landowners.
Why is the City looking at land use as part of this transportation project?
Development in the area is governed by the North Henderson Highway Secondary Plan.
Why won’t the large wooden utility poles on the east side of Henderson be buried underground as part of the proposed improvement?
These utility poles support an overhead electrical distribution line owned and operated by Manitoba Hydro. The City worked closely with Hydro to determine the cost and feasibility of burying the line. Unfortunately, the estimated cost to bury the line would result in an increase of more than 30 percent to the project budget. The design team was able to meet traffic safety and property access requirements with the utility poles remaining in-place. Some individual poles may require relocation to avoid conflicts with reconfigured approaches and the new crossing of Bunn’s Creek, for much lower cost.
Traffic and Intersections
- The design team has worked closely with Winnipeg Transit to ensure the proposed improvements coordinate with the recently adopted Winnipeg Transit Master Plan. The Transit Master Plan indicates Henderson Highway will be designated as a Frequent Service Line, and nearby areas of North Kildonan served On-Request, with connections to the primary network. Roadway improvements will allow for accessible transit stops along Henderson.
- The design includes dedicated walking and cycling infrastructure along the west side of Henderson to provide intuitive connections to Chief Peguis Greenway to the south and Bunn’s Creek Pathway system to the north, as well as safe and convenient crossing locations to access the residential areas to the east.
- Reduce the risk of high-impact collisions by physically separating northbound and southbound traffic
- Provide refuge areas for pedestrians and cyclists, making it easier for them to cross the road
- Limit turning options for vehicles and shift these movements to safer locations
- Allow for left turning vehicles to queue in a left turn lane without impeding through-traffic
- Provide space for trees and landscaping
What are you recommending to improve transportation options?
The proposed design would offer improvements for both Transit and walking and biking.
Did the City consider expanding Henderson Highway to six lanes (three in each direction)?
Yes. A traffic study that looked at current vehicle volumes, growth projects, and future capacity needs showed that adding additional lanes is not required at this time.
What are you recommending to improve traffic flow in the area?
Introducing a centre median along Henderson would improve safety and traffic flow. Currently, left-turning vehicles do so from the left through-lane, which can result in unexpected slowing or stopping of traffic. Introducing a median would allow for left turning vehicles to queue in a left-turn lane that would prevent them blocking through-traffic.
Why would the City want to install a median along Henderson Highway?
A median would have additional benefits – and not just for vehicles. A median would:
Would this design include adding or removing any signalized intersections in the project area?
Existing signalized intersections at Chief Peguis Trail, Gilmore Avenue, and McIvor Avenue would remain if this proposed design moves forward; Strood Avenue and Glenway Avenue would be signalized. Half signals are proposed at Valhalla Drive / Douglas Avenue (replacing the existing pedestrian corridor), mid-block just north of Fortier Avenue (new pedestrian crossing location), and at the Bunn’s Creek pathway crossing (replacing the existing pedestrian corridor).
What is a half-signal?
A half-signal is a traffic light that only turns red for through-traffic when pedestrians or cyclists push a button indicating they are waiting to cross. Once traffic is brought to a stop at the red light, a “walk” signal is displayed to pedestrian and cyclists allowing them to cross the street.
- The volume of traffic the potential opening would need to accommodate
- The distance between the potential opening and nearby intersections (median openings cannot be too close to intersections with side streets)
- Proximity to other nearby median openings (as median openings that are too closely spaced can result in safety issues and create additional conflicts between vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists)
- Proximity to transit stops (as stopped busses can inhibit sight lines for pedestrians and motorists seeking to use the opening)
- Interaction with pedestrian and cycling infrastructure (as poorly placed median openings can result in conflicts between cars and pedestrians or cyclists)
I can see that median openings would be provided at intersections with local streets. How does the City decide where to place median openings?
The decision to open a median in any given location is based on a number of factors including:
I live on the west side of Henderson Highway. A new median would mean I can no longer turn left to access my residence directly from the northbound direction. How would I access my property?
The proposed median includes openings designed to accommodate U-turns by most passenger vehicles. In most cases, vehicles would proceed northbound beyond their destination to the next available median opening, and perform a U-turn when safe to do so. They would then proceed southbound to make a right-hand turn into their property. Larger vehicles may need to use the adjacent street network to obtain access to the southbound direction.
I am concerned a new median will prevent emergency vehicles from accessing my property. Was this considered in the design?
Yes. The design team consulted with the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service to ensure emergency vehicle access is provided. Ambulances would perform U-turns at nearby median openings and firetrucks could travel against regular traffic flow when necessary.
Pedestrains, Cycling, and Transit
- Chief Peguis Trail (existing signalized intersection)
- Valhalla Drive / Douglas Avenue (existing pedestrian corridor, upgraded to a half-signal)
- Gilmore Avenue (existing signalized intersection)
- Mid-block north of Fortier Avenue (proposed new half-signal)
- McIvor Avenue (existing signalized intersection)
- Strood Avenue (existing pedestrian corridor, upgraded to a half-signal)
- Bunn’s Creek Pathway (existing pedestrian corridor, upgraded to a half-signal)
- Glenway Avenue (proposed signalized intersection)
What cycling and pedestrian safety improvements are you recommending?
We are proposing a new 1.8-m wide concrete sidewalk on the east side of Henderson.
On the west side of Henderson, the proposed design features a 1.5 m wide concrete sidewalk adjacent to a 3.0 m wide bi-directional asphalt bike path.
Did the City consider cycling options such as a multi-use path on the east side of Henderson Highway?
We did consider this; however, we were unable to proceed with a pathway on the east side of the street due to utility poles and a large number of busy commercial approaches. The proposed design includes a sidewalk on the east side to serve pedestrians.
Where would I be able to safely cross Henderson Highway as a pedestrian or cyclist?
The safety and convenience of pedestrians and cyclists is an important consideration in this study. The current proposed design shows crossings at:
How would the proposed active transportation improvements connect to the broader pedestrian and cycling network in the area?
The Pedestrian and Cycling Strategies are currently undergoing review as part of Transportation Master Plan 2050.
As it stands, this project’s proposed active transportation infrastructure would provide a multi-modal north-south route with connections to Chief Peguis Trail Greenway to the south, and Bunn’s Creek Pathway system to the north. East-west connections would be made to the local neighbourhood greenways and sidewalks. The improvements would also allow for potential future connections with the RM of East St. Paul at the city limit (Glenway Avenue).
Would the proposed design make improvements to Winnipeg Transit stops and service?
The proposed design would improve Winnipeg Transit stops and shelters. The ditches present on either side of Henderson would be replaced by curbs and raised boulevards, which would improve accessibility for all users. Improvements to Transit service are dependent upon Winnipeg Transit’s implementation of the recently Council-approved Winnipeg Transit Master Plan.
Bunn's Creek Crossing
Why does the Bunn’s Creek box culvert need to be replaced?
The existing concrete box culvert was constructed in the 1930’s, is in poor condition, and has reached the end of its useful life. Additionally, with the planned improvements along Henderson, a longer culvert structure is required to provide additional room for a median and pedestrian and cycling infrastructure along Henderson as it crosses the Creek.
How is the potential for flooding on Bunn’s Creek being considered in the replacement of the box culvert?
Portions of Henderson Highway lie on the City’s Primary Line of Defense, which is a diking system that provides primary flood protection from the Red River in the event of an extreme flood event. Early on in the design process, the City considered installing a flood control (gate) structure on Bunn’s Creek at the Henderson Highway crossing, as is common for many smaller tributaries of the Red River.
When the gates are closed, elevated floodwaters on the Red River would be prevented from backing up the tributary and contributing to overland flooding for low-lying properties. However, while the gates are closed, large pumps are required to discharge any flows in the tributary up and over the gate structure and into the river.
Unfortunately, due to the size and drainage area of Bunn’s Creek, pumping creek flows over the gate structure is not feasible at this location. After replacement of the existing culvert structure, the City’s current flood-response procedures (as documented in the City’s Flood Manual) would remain largely unchanged in the vicinity of Bunn’s Creek in response to any significant flood event.
Will the box culvert replacement affect fish in Bunn’s Creek?
An aquatic assessment was conducted to ensure the project would comply with regulatory requirements and best practices if it proceeded. Prior to construction, regulatory approvals would be obtained from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), which serve to protect fish and fish habitat.