Once considered endangered, the construction crane is alive and well in Winnipeg.
Even the president of the Winnipeg Construction Association is not certain how many cranes are currently in operation. “You almost have to go to a tall building with binoculars,” said Ron Hambley.
A large expansion to the Health Sciences Centre, a new emergency department at the Grace Hospital, downtown condos, new retail stores adjacent to the IKEA location in south Winnipeg and some office/industrial buildings nearby are just some of the crane-worthy projects on the go.
“We’re expecting a pretty decent year for 2016, which is a surprise. With everything going on with the dollar and oil industry, we expected things to quiet down a bit but we haven’t seen that universally,” Hambley said.
Perhaps the most optimistic sign is the number of commercial retail buildings coming up out of the ground near IKEA.
“I’m not sure what style of retail stores are going in there. Sometimes the builders don’t even know,” he said.
Hambley expects to see continued construction on McGillivray Boulevard just beyond the city limits.
“You’re going to see a tremendous amount of development there. There’s a huge tax advantage for being that close to the city but outside the boundary,” he said.