The local councillor for Kleefeld says there are plans in place that should create a safer Main Street in their community. 

Darrin Warkentin, is Ward 5 Councillor for the Rural Municipality of Hanover. He says Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure has approved a project along Provincial Road 216 in front of Fields Market. 

Warkentin explains that currently there are no defined entrances or exits for Fields Market traffic. 

"Almost the whole property is open season for entrance or exits," he says.

But Warkentin notes this has caused several close calls over the years; something he witnesses regularly while grabbing an ice cream next door.

"We see it almost every time we sit on the picnic table," he says. "The pedestrians crossing the crosswalk here, either with traffic on the highway or somebody quickly turning off the parking lot."

PR 216 is a provincial road and is therefore the jurisdiction of the province. Warkentin says Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure has approved a project that will create defined entrances/ exits.

"There will be three defined approaches and exits together, off of this property," he says. 

Not only that, but Warkentin says because the crosswalk leads directly onto the Fields Market property, the project will also see a boulevard constructed to improve safety for pedestrians as they enter or exit the property. 

According to Warkentin, this project has been years in the making. He was elected to Council in 2018 and says it has been on their radar at least that long. 

Warkentin says a big thank you to Manitoba Transportation and Infrastructure for approving this project not once, but twice. He says the original plan was tendered and accepted, but then changes were requested to accommodate some future plans by the store owner. 

"We were able to change some of the approaches, just the width basically, shifting them over, to accommodate the future plans for the store," says Warkentin. "So, thanks to MTI for that."

Warkentin says the entire cost of the project is about $380,000. He notes the tender has been awarded to Bayview Construction. He anticipates construction to start in early summer. 

Meanwhile, Warkentin says this project is all about creating safety and notes it is great to have the province value that.

"I think (the province) sees the benefit of this for our growing community," adds Warkentin. "And to address this crosswalk issue at the same time, we're really excited as a town to have them do this and we welcome it with open arms."