The tunnel in St. Vital, which runs under Fermor Avenue has been upgraded. (Source: Glenn Pismenny/CTV News

A revamp of a 55-year-old tunnel in St. Vital is now complete.

Coun. Brian Mayes, councillor for the St. Vital ward, said the repair work, which was conducted this summer, is now finished.

The tunnel runs beneath Fermor Avenue, and connects the YMCA and the St. Vital Library.

Source: Glenn Pismenny/CTV News

"It's something I've been wanting to do for years," Mayes said, noting it hadn't received an upgrade since it opened.

City crews upgraded and replaced the stairwell handrails and guards, made exterior lighting improvements, completed sidewalk renewals near the stairwells, and repaired and repainted the interior surfaces.

Source: Glenn Pismenny/CTV News

Source: Glenn Pismenny/CTV News

"It just was time to upgrade it," said Mayes. "It's certainly better now, and safer, in terms for pedestrians. We didn't have the funding to put in a ramp or an elevator. It dates back to 1965, but it's certainly safer now. We have mirrors in there, we've got much better lighting, we got the graffiti and mold out of there. I'm pleased to finally see this get upgraded.”

Source: Glenn Pismenny/CTV News

The tunnel reopened this week.

The tunnel had originally been built in 1965 and the project to upgrade the structure cost the city $300,000.

Mayes said he is pleased that the city was able to upgrade this tunnel even if it doesn't have some of the features newer tunnels do.

"In the modern design, we would usually do more with ones that would allow bikes, or wheelchairs, or strollers. This is an older design from the 60s, but you know it's well used. Students from Glenlawn come through here to get over to the library."

Mayes added the tunnel did take a little longer than planned to finish because one of the workers got COVID-19, but he said it is now safer, looks better, and will be good to use for several years now.

Now that the tunnel is complete a mural is expected to be put up inside. Take Pride Winnipeg is expected to commission the mural installation and it is scheduled to start later in the Fall of 2020.