Mike Arsenault Video Journalist
Published Friday, August 14, 2020
WINNIPEG — Construction in Winnipeg can be a nuisance for many, but for people with mobility restrictions, it’s more than just inconvenient.
As the city works to repair roads and sidewalks, some have noticed it appears accessibility compliance rules aren’t being followed.
Allen Mankewich has to push his wheelchair through gravel and over curbs just to get into his condo.
Hargrave Street south of Ellice Avenue is getting road work done, and it’s making life for Mankewich very challenging.
“I’ve noticed they’re not necessarily creating accessible alternative pathways around construction zones,” said Mankewich.
According to the Temporary Traffic Control Manual on the City of Winnipeg’s website, when road work is being done and pathways are compromised, construction sites are obligated to install temporary curb ramps so people with mobility restrictions can still use the sidewalk.
Temporary ramps must be stable, with a hard non-slip surface and a slope of 12:1 (8%) or less.
“All this stuff is labeled in the City of Winnipeg’s construction manual that they’re supposed to give out to contractors,” said Mankewich.
“But as far as I can tell they’re not following some of those rules.”
City councillor Sherri Rollins said accessibility near construction zones is an ongoing issue.
She said the city has a lot of policy that supports accessibility, but they’re not being enforced.
“It’s very difficult to get to other accessibility issues when the ones, that you feel as a councilor you’ve completed, aren’t being enforced,” said Rollins.
Inspections, fines, and stop-work orders are some of the tools she’d like to see used to enforce the rules around accessibility.
In a statement to CTV News, the City of Winnipeg said:
“Contractors are required to comply with the Manual of Temporary Traffic Control to the extent feasible, and the City makes efforts to ensure compliance.”
“Immediate stakeholders receive construction notices identifying the contract administrator if there is an access issue. For those that receive notices, they can contact the contract administrator directly if they perceive there are issues with the project.”
Mankewich said he likes the guidelines in place, now he wants to see the city enforce them.
“Clearly what’s happening now isn’t good for anyone who uses a wheelchair, anyone who might use a walker to help them walk, or someone pushing a baby stroller.”