A cross section of Columbia Avenue Phase Two. Image: City of Castlegar

A cross section of Columbia Avenue Phase Two. Image: City of Castlegar

Columbia Avenue Phase Two moving forward

Project on Castlegar’s main thoroughfare scheduled to start in February

Castlegar city staff has been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that Phase Two of the Columbia Avenue Redevelopment Project moves forward. Final designs and details have been sorted out and the project has now gone to tender.

Phase Two of the project will cover Columbia Avenue from 18th Street to 24th Street. The project includes everything from underground infrastructure and paving to baskets and trees.

RELATED: Castlegar council approves Columbia Ave. Phase 2 cross section

Specifically, aging water mains, services and undersized storm sewer mains will be replaced and new storm drainage infrastructure including curbs and gutters will be installed. Columbia Avenue will be repaved with the addition of a two-way center turn lane and cycle lanes. There will also be new sidewalks, street trees, banner poles, street furniture and improved bus shelter facilities.

FortisBC has already completed some of the preparations for the project by relocating an overhead electricity line that runs through the area.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) is responsible for some of the project’s paving work. Their start date is slated for Aug. 20. MOTI will be milling the top lift and repaving from 18th Street to 32nd Street, which is a larger section of Columbia Avenue than the rest of the project.

The total project budget is $8.937 million, with the city covering $6.9 million and MOTI covering just over $2 million. Some of the city’s costs specifically related to storm services will be taken from the storm reserves fund collected through the city’s parcel tax.

As for the February start date, Castlegar’s manager of engineering and infrastructure Travis Christianson explained to city council, “That seems optimistic, weather dependent, but there are quite a few things the contractor can do at the start of the project such as traffic control set up, lay down and lay out in the field.”

Christianson also said everything is in place with MOTI for things to move forward smoothly.

“We’ve worked very closely with them to coordinate a cost sharing agreement … and to set a tight schedule, but still with a buffer in case some issues arise.”

The city plans to provide several public engagement sessions including two Zoom-based events towards the end of November and an in-person, by-appointment event at the Community Forum on Dec. 8.

Project timeline:

Project tender — Nov. 2

Mandatory site meeting — Nov. 10

Tender closing — Dec. 1

Staff recommendation for award — Dec. 7

Council awarding contract — Dec. 21

Notice to proceed — January

Tentative construction start — Feb. 1

Substantial completion — July 21


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