Municipal politicians are applauding the provincial government for Wednesday's announcement concerning Highway 75.

Manitoba Infrastructure Minister Doyle Piwniuk has promised that the southbound lanes of Highway 75 from Ste. Agathe to Morris will be rebuilt next year at a cost of more than $61 million. Work will include 27.7 kilometres of surface reconstruction, as well as shoulder, drainage and intersection improvements. The surface will be reconstructed using concrete pavement.

"This is a long awaited announcement and we're really pleased," notes Ralph Groening, Reeve for the Rural Municipality of Morris.

He notes the entire region relies on a good road network, particularly businesses. Groening says a good grid network of RTAC roads will build the economy in our province. 

Groening says he recalls earlier this year while speaking with Minister Piwniuk prior to the spring flood, that the two agreed upon the need for improvements to this busy stretch of roadway. Groening says he himself fielded many complaints from residents who were frustrated and upset over the state of Highway 75. His response to those residents was, "you're right, you are absolutely right."

On Wednesday, Groening thanked the province for making a difference and for helping build Manitoba's economy.

Ritchot Deputy Mayor Shane Pelletier says he is excited to see improvements to a highway that is not only used by residents of his municipality but by thousands of commuters, international tourists and commercial vehicles.

"Without Highway 75, Manitoba would not see the importing and exporting opportunities we currently have," notes Pelletier. "To have an improvement will bring value and more economic development into our region and throughout the province."

Meanwhile, Aaron Dolyniuk, Executive Director of Manitoba Trucking Association (MTA), says he welcomes this announcement on behalf of members of the MTA. 

"Road safety is a priority for the MTA and investments such as the one announced (Wednesday) will improve safety for everyone travelling this route," he says. "Furthermore, this investment in Manitoba's main north-south trade route will allow our industry members to remain internationally competitive by providing a reliable, efficient goods-transportation network."

He adds Manitoba's economy relies on economic trade corridors such as Highway 75, to ensure the quality of life for all Manitobans.

The project is expected to be tendered in spring. Piwniuk says construction should start in spring and wrap in fall of 2023.