Downtown improvements spill into new year

The next leg of Trail’s revitalization plan will begin in the new year.

The Silver City will have a little more glam added to downtown after council approved the next leg of Trail’s revitalization plan to begin in the new year.

The estimated cost for further improvements to the Victoria Street corridor is $715,000 and includes four major undertakings scheduled to be complete by June 1, weather permitting.

The first proposed item in Phase 2 is the installation of 50 feet of guard rail at the entrance of the Trail Memorial Centre (TMC), estimated to cost $50,000.

“The handrail is unique to the city,” explained Warren Proulx, Trail’s engineering technician.

“We decided to keep with the theme of the rail that is on top of the river wall, outlooks at Gyro Park, and across from the Legion in East Trail.”

Functionally, the guard rail will be installed to stop people from walking into the new flowerbeds outside the TMC entrance, and from walking onto the highway after hockey games or large event gatherings, he added.

Upgrades completed over the summer in the first step of the downtown plan included removal of the Victoria Street eastbound left turn lane into the Centre thereby closing vehicle access into the civic centre.

Although the traffic pattern change was designed to improve safety and accessibility for all users and age groups of the facility, the pedestrian travel distance to the TMC entrance way was considerably increased and will be reviewed after the proposed works in Phase 2 are complete.

Presently, traffic conditions appear to be acceptable in Trail’s downtown core, John Howes, Trail’s engineering technician, wrote in his report to council.

Howes noted that minor mitigations such as converting the intersection of Bay Avenue and Farwell Street into a four-way stop were recommended in a previous transportation analysis and should be installed on a trial basis.

With a potential to keep traffic moving more appropriately along Victoria Street, council agreed to allocate $30,000 in the second phase of improvements to allow a temporary four-way stop at that site.

Additionally, signage will be installed to identify the designated truck route into downtown via Bay Avenue with added signs prohibiting heavy trucks to turn at access points onto Pine and Cedar Avenue where road design cannot accommodate commercial traffic.

To advance the city’s greening theme, $272,000 has been earmarked for Victoria Street landscaping which includes tree planting along the street, median columnar trees, mixed shrubs, grasses and perennials, upkeep for existing vegetation and further points of irrigation.

Amenities will be spread along the corridor, including 13 benches costing $500 a piece, 11 trash receptacles $250 each, 15 bike racks at $250 each and 11 banner poles (with arms) at a cost of $8,000 each.

A major project, with a price tag of $363,000 is the installation of the entrance gateways features including a Cedar Avenue kiosk that may be used to display maps and advertising.