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Traffic Operation Improvements at the Pembina-Emerson Port of Entry


Major land-based ports of entry (POE’s) are key surface transportation assets that process high annual vehicle volumes and are an integral component of surface transportation networks that support the safe, secure and efficient movement of people and goods between Canada and the United States. Historically, POE facilities were often developed with minimal inter-agency or binational co-ordination. Although bi-national mechanisms for improved infrastructure coordination at POE’s have recently emerged, the Pembina-Emerson POE was modernized in the late 1990’s prior to these new collaborative processes. As a result of these less-than-desirably coordinated improvements, a number of traffic operation and related safety issues emerged almost immediately upon completion of the new POE facilities. In addition to the impact upon port efficiency and throughput, these issues also have broader safety and security consequences. Although a bi-national project team was undertaking a long-range planning study to address POE requirements to the year 2035, it became evident that there was an opportunity for Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation to implement a cost effective series of immediate improvements for the southbound (SB) direction of travel that would not preclude any longrange planning initiatives. The proposed suite of immediate SB improvements were intended to address a number of traffic operation and related safety issues that had emerged at the PembinaEmerson POE, particularly during peak periods, as vehicles approached and manoeuvred through the port. These improvements reflected improved advance notification, vehicle channelization and lane assignment strategies, as well as access management improvements at the existing duty free facility. These improvements were designed and constructed within a three year period for minimal cost and were expected to improve SB traffic operation and overall border plaza safety for a period of 5-10 years. These immediate SB improvements would be sufficient to address traffic operations at the POE until such time as the long-term improvements recommended in the POE concept plan were implemented. The SB improvements included as assessment of lessons learned regarding the modification of driver behaviour and regarding driver compliance with channelization and lane assignment strategies.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Brant Magnusson
Derek Durant
David Lettner
Road safety