Downtown plan shifts gears with MOT decision

The downtown revitalization venture received a minor setback Monday night with a delayed paving schedule.

Less than one week after Trail city council boosted the planned city Gateway project by two thirds to $300,000, the downtown revitalization venture received a minor setback Monday night.

In their council meeting Monday night, it was learned the province’s Ministry of Transportation (MOT) could not work within the timelines for the city’s fledgling Gateway design and still complete the Victoria Avenue repaving plan next month.

As a result, the province will be delaying paving that was expected to begin at the end of July.

Although the city will now have to wait until next spring to see the paving completed, the move will save the city money in the long run, said councilor Kevin Jolly.

“Obviously I wish it could happen quicker,” he said. “But there is still activity that will take place

in that corridor.”

The Trail Memorial Centre will still be painted, and the A & W restaurant will continue with renovations, while the city will move forward with a project in an adjacent park with respect to a gateway entryway feature, possibly an archway.

MOT planned to repave Highway 3B (Victoria Avenue) in the Trail and Warfield area. The city had hoped to dovetail elements of the Trail Downtown Plan into the paving project and create an entranceway, or gateway, into the city.

Although the total Gateway plan comes in at a weighty $1.4 million, council felt the Bay Avenue intersection was the highest initial priority and the spirit of the project was approved under a budget of $300,000 last Thursday. The Downtown Opportunities and Action Committee (DOAC) will narrow the focus of what will now be done.

The realm of the Victoria Street opportunities could include curb bulb-outs, removal of existing sidewalk and expansion to two metres wide, new decorative paving, trees, accent lighting and relocated street light to an island.

Currently Genelle is being protected by BC Hydro’s newly constructed berm, an action that stems from the first damage recorded on 17th Avenue and Lower China Creek Road.

The berm is expected to prevent further flooding on park homes, in addition to protecting the roadways.

While residents sit tight in anticipation of what their neighborhood will look like by the time water recedes from any areas that have been jeopardized areas, the local authorities are searching for solutions.

Last Thursday the owner of Whispering Pines, Barry Thoen, held a public meeting to address concerns about the rising water levels. At the time, he had no concerns about the septic field, which he indicated was fivefeet above the water.

However, BC Hydro predicted that the high water levels could remain somewhat problematic until early August.

BC Hydro spokesperson Jennifer Walker-Larsen said without the operation of upstream Columbia River Treaty dams, the peak flow in the Columbia River would be approximately double its current flow. And within five per cent of the historic maximum flows ever seen during the major pre-dam flood years of

1948 and 1961.

On Friday BC Hydro allowed the Arrow Lakes Reservoir to reach its full pool level of 440.1 m. (1,444 ft.) and predicted it will continue to rise as much as 0.6 m. (two ft.) above the normal full pool over the next several weeks, depending on weather conditions

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