This 55-year-old tunnel under Fermor Avenue is getting a facelift

WINNIPEG — Work is underway on a 55-year-old underground pedestrian walkway in St. Vital that the area’s councillor says was long overdue for repair.

Coun. Brian Mayes said the pedestrian tunnel under that runs under Fermor Avenue, connecting the YMCA and the St. Vital Library, has been on his list of projects for the ward for years. On Monday, work to fix it up got started.

“I was very pleased to get it in the budget – it looks a lot like it did when I was here in 1970 for the first time, so it needs some fixing up,” Mayes told CTV News.

“We’re going to be redoing the tunnel and the stairs and some of the sidewalk, and just making things a little brighter and rehabilitating it really – it still looks a lot like it did generations ago.”

The tunnel rehabilitation project is expected to cost $250,000 and is scheduled to be completed in September, Mayes said.

Mayes said he had been hearing from constituents who were asking when the structure, which was built in 1965, would be repaired.

“It looks pretty dingy the way it is now,” Mayes said. “It is unfortunate, but it is one of these older pieces of infrastructure that we have, and rather than just cementing it in we thought, well let’s spend some money and keep it useful. It certainly does help pedestrian safety.”

pedestrian walkway in St. Vital

The work will include cosmetic improvements and repairs to the stairs leading to the tunnel. Mayes said he also hopes to get Pride Winnipeg and students from Glenlawn Collegiate to paint murals inside.

NOISE MAKERS IN TUNNEL DISABLED

Mayes said a noise-maker that was installed in the tunnel has also been disabled.

He said the type of noise-maker is different from a recent controversial pilot project the city conducted, which placed noise makers under bridges to prevent homeless camps.

READ MORE: City of Winnipeg to discontinue controversial noise project

Mayes said, while the noise-makers in the tunnel were different from the city’s pilot project, it was still time for them to go.

pedestrian walkway in St. Vital

“There had been a high-pitched noise maker here that was targeted at young men and young women,” Mayes said. “There has been a lot of drug-traffic here over the years – that problem seems to be better now.”

CTV News Winnipeg has reached out to the City of Winnipeg for more information on the project.

pedestrian walkway in St. Vital