Construction on the Columbia Avenue Redevelopment Project – Phase 2 is scheduled to start in February and all of the final pieces are falling into place.
Castlegar city council recently awarded an $8.27 million contract for the project to Copcan Civil Ltd. The City of Castlegar will cover approximately $5.35 million of the contract and the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will cover $2.9 million.
Five contractors bid for the project, with Copcan coming in with the lowest bid. The city has worked with Copcan on several projects in the last few years.
The project will span Columbia Avenue/Highway 22 from 18th Street to 24th Street.
Phase 2 includes:
• Adding a two-way centre turning lane
• Providing safe cycle lanes for cyclists and other active transportation users
• Replacing aging water mains and services
• Replacing aging and undersized storm sewer mains
• Installing new storm drainage infrastructure including curb and gutter
• Repaving Columbia Avenue/Hwy 22
• Installing street trees, banner poles, street furniture and improved bus shelter facilities
• Connecting existing sidewalks with new, wider and more accessible sidewalks
• New sculpture pads to expand ScultptureWalk
The city held an online open house for the project on Jan. 13. Around 40 people joined the meeting and were given the opportunity to ask city staff and representatives of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure specifics about the project.
Many of the questions revolved around traffic control during construction. City staff said plans would be in place to ensure access to businesses along the route would be available and traffic leaving Stellar Place and Sandalwood Court would be able to turn onto the street.
During Phase 1 of the project in the 1100 – 1700 blocks of Columbia Avenue, there was no alternate route available and traffic frequently backed up for long periods of time.
An alternate route along 6th Avenue is available this time, but the city says they will be monitoring its use to ensure it is not being abused.
A few residents expressed concerns about the route during the open house due to the speed vehicles tend to use on the road and the lack of sidewalks in some sections.
The city expects the project to be completed by late summer or early fall of 2021.
More information about the project can be found at castlegarconnects.ca/columbia-avenue-phase-2