Downtown work will impact traffic

The first phase of the Victoria Street Corridor is quietly underway but the coming week will sound a little different.

The first phase of the Victoria Street Corridor is quietly underway with site preparation this week, but this coming week will sound a little different.

The City of Trail will be breaking ground on its $1.6 million Victoria Street Corridor project, which involves extensive infrastructure improvements between Tamarac Avenue and the Victoria Street Bridge.

The first phase of the project, awarded to Nelson’s Maglio Installations, includes curb/gutter and sidewalk removal and replacement, utility improvements, pedestrian-crossing enhancements, site furniture and decorative landscape planter features from the bridge up to Glover Road.

A public notice has been sent out to inform residents and business owners that construction-related activities may cause short-term road and sidewalk closures, could impact water services (with ample notice provided), increase noise levels and interruptions to vehicle and pedestrian routes.

“We live in a pretty old city and when they start digging, you never know what they’re going to find,” said Andrea Jolly, the city’s communications and events coordinator. “There’s the possibility for finding something unknown and that will have to be dealt with in a case-by-case situation.”

There is no set schedule per se, for closing routes to pedestrians and vehicles, but Jolly said a traffic management report from the Ministry of Transportation should provide further direction.

Construction hours are scheduled from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, with less action planned for peak traffic times (7-9 a.m. and 3-5 p.m.).

“They will be digging up sidewalks and curbs but everything will be well marked and will be safe for people to walk around or take an alternate route,” said Jolly, adding vehicles will flow through single-lane two-way traffic the majority of the time construction is underway.

Phase 1 of the project is expected to be complete this fall, when the second portion will begin. Hil-Tech Contracting Limited out of Rivervale will take on the next chapter of the city’s vision with the creation of archways along Bay, Pine and Cedar avenues.

The city bit into this project as a means of further promoting its downtown core with an attractive gateway that could entice visitors but at the same time slow traffic.

“There is a real push to enhance the downtown core and improve the city overall and this is a great place to start because it’s the gateway to the city and things can only improve from here,” said Jolly.

It has been over 25 years since major improvements along this stretch have been rolled out downtown, which was first paved in 1926.

The Trail Creek Culvert was diverted to accommodate the Tadanac (Hwy 22) approach in 1988, prior to that the installation of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary sanitary interceptor on Victoria was installed in 1973 and before that a major upgrade of the city storm, sanitary and water mains on Victoria began in 1965.

For more information on the corridor project, contact Trail’s engineering department at 364-0822.