After a series of setbacks. the Victoria Street Corridor project remains a priority for council and its downtown revitalization vision.
At the Monday night meeting, Coun. Rick Georgetti presented the governance and operations committee(GOC) report, which confirmed that council has approved $1.1 million in its 2013 Capital Budget to proceed with the work.
Several weeks ago, city staff partook in a conference call with the project’s design firm, MMM Group, to discuss the status of the project.
If everything comes together and is approved by the Ministry of Transportation (MOT), the project is scheduled to proceed later this year, said Georgetti.
At this time, it is hoped that the project will be tendered in May, with construction to commence later in June, he explained.
The city’s work will need to be completed before the ministry paving begins, which is scheduled to start in early September.
The project is aligned with the downtown plan and will take advantage of the paving work that is to be completed by the MOT later this year, said Georgetti.
The realm of the city’s work on the Gateway project will involve extensive infrastructure improvements along Victoria Street.
Included in the upgrades, are: new curbs and drainage; sidewalk resurfacing and realignment; bump outs; improved pedestrian crossings; and centre medians delineated for future planting.
The report states that the design elements will have a traffic calming effect which will slow traffic through the city and also improve traffic and pedestrian safety.
The City Financial Plan bylaw will be advanced to the first three readings at the next council meeting on April 22.
In February 2011, the city’s Downtown Opportunities & Action Committee (DOAC) held a planning exercise as a step in its program to develop the downtown core.
The most important initiative identified at that time, was a need to quickly develop a physical concept of the revitalization plan.
As part of the public realm assessment, the DOAC noted that Victoria Street between Tamarac Avenue and the Victoria Street Bridge had the potential to establish a strong civic identity for the city, and specifically downtown.
As an alternative to Highway 3 and Victoria Street performing solely as a vehicle-oriented corridor, a plan was developed to create a gateway corridor supplemented with various features to attract the eye and capture a driver’s attention.
Last July, in a GOC meeting, city council moved and approved to bump the cash available for the entrance way into the city’s downtown at Bay Avenue, to $300,000.
Shortly after, the venture was curtailed when it was learned that the province’s MOT could not work within the timelines for the city’s proposed Gateway design and complete the repaving that was planned for the following month.
MOT planned to repave Highway 3B (Victoria Street) 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.