Geoff Lawrason is hoping the construction on his Victoria Street doorstep leads to improvements for pedestrians in downtown Trail.

Geoff Lawrason is hoping the construction on his Victoria Street doorstep leads to improvements for pedestrians in downtown Trail.

Work set to start on Trail’s downtown plan

Fresh paint markings on the surface of Victoria Street outline the site of Trail’s ambitious construction project set to begin Tuesday.

Fresh paint markings on the surface of Victoria Street outline the site of Trail’s ambitious construction project set to begin Tuesday.

The $1.6 million Victoria Street Corridor project will involve extensive infrastructure improvements including new curbs and drainage, so driving through town may present some challenges this summer.

“The street will be torn up and there will be traffic pattern changes,” said Robert Cacchioni, acting mayor.

He said the impact of construction should be minimal as compared to the extensive 2012 project in Rossland that took eight months to complete and decreased business in its downtown core.

“We are hoping to wrap things up and have everything cleaned up by the fall.”

Although the city has released a public notice, the project was news to the ears of businesses and residents on Trail’s main street.

“I didn’t know there was a project, what project?” asked Gerry Robertson, from Lordco Parts Ltd., on Victoria Street.

Robertson said that people come to the store for a specific reason, and she is hoping that a traffic pattern change won’t affect business.

However, she did express one concern.

“Tearing up this street with only one bridge is going to be fun,” she chuckled.

Victoria Street resident Geoff Lawrason was unaware a major construction project was about to begin on his doorstep, although he is looking forward to seeing improvements, especially for pedestrians living downtown.

“The problem here is a lot of traffic and people driving way to fast,” he said

A medical condition limits Lawrason’s mobility, so often he zigzags his way across the highway toward McDonald’s.

“It would be nice to cross the highway safely maybe with a new crosswalk here,” he said at his residence, located across the street from the Best Western Plus Columbia River Hotel.

“Because the way it is now, it is too dangerous.”

Thursday afternoon, Andrea Jolly, media relations for the city, said that businesses, residents and tenants on Victoria Street and side streets from Glover Road/Tamarac Ave to the Victoria Street  Bridge will receive notification on Monday.

A notice of construction will be issued to warn of heavy equipment and crews working in the area.

The construction may cause short term road and sidewalk closures, impacts to water services, increased noise levels, minor vibrations and interruptions to normal vehicle and pedestrian routes.

Although the city has not received the approved Ministry of Transport’s report, single lane two-way traffic for the majority of the project can be expected with minor delays, said Jolly.

The Victoria Street Corridor project contract was awarded to a local company, Maglio Installations last week, and construction will begins once necessary Ministry of Transportation (MOT) permits are approved.

The total cost is $1.6 million with the Nelson general contracting company receiving $1.4 million for the first stage of construction.

The remainder of the costs earmarked for the second phase of the project, has been awarded to Hil-Tech Constructions and includes gateway features at Bay, Pine and Cedar Avenues.

The city’s goal is to wrap up the construction phase of the project by this fall, at which time the MOT is set to begin re-paving Victoria Street.

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