Anyone stumped by the crimson street posts that are just “there” at the three major intersections along Victoria Street?
Word is, be patient – because the City of Trail’s downtown revitalization plan is set to begin Phase 2, and those minor gateways will be prettied up to serve a purpose in the next few months.
The trio of red pillars was a final touch of the first phase of Trail’s $1.2 million facelift that involved digging up the city’s old bones last summer to modernize drainage, curbing and sidewalk framework at the bottom of Glover Road and through town along the Victoria Street corridor.
As Phase 2 of Silver City rejuvenation rolls out along with the warm weather, the 16-foot gateways installed at the entrances of Pine, Cedar and Bay avenues are on the polishing list after being buried in the landscape during the winter months.
Stone bases that will highlight Trail’s cultural heritage, are set to be installed and hoist the directional features into prominent structures, explained David James, a member of the Kelowna-based firm that, hand-in-hand with the city, designed the downtown plan.
“Trail is known for its stonework,” said James. “We’ve picked a base design that it reminiscent of the stone walls seen throughout the city,” he added.
“Right now, it’s just a metal post. But it will be finished off nicely.”
The purpose of the features are “way-finding” and meant to draw visitors from Victoria Street into the downtown core.
“It is a navigational device,” said James. “People in Trail, of course, know where the downtown is,” he continued. “But when you’re driving through Victoria Street as a tourist and coming across the bridge or in from Rossland, it’s not so obvious.”
James, a registered landscape architect associate with MMM Group Ltd., said this next phase of downtown development will showcase elements that are unique to Trail’s strong industrial history.
“It’s not something we wanted to shy away from,” he said. “The Italian heritage and stone work all play together along with the major feature of the Columbia River. We tried to draw inspiration from all of that.”
Phase 2 is slated to begin in late May or early June, when over a period of six-to-eight weeks, custom streetscape such as a Cedar Avenue kiosk, bicycle racks, and trash receptacles will be installed along Victoria Street and throughout the downtown.
Vibrant red accents were chosen for visibility and to complement the heritage colour of the city’s brick buildings and paving bands.
“That really was part of the bigger intent,” said James. “To treat this project as a downtown revitalization as much as a street corridor re-do. The elements will be on a smaller sale and tie in and play off the industrial character of Trail.”
This time around, traffic delays are not expected to take centre stage because the majority of the project is off the roadway, said Jim Roe, MMM Group’s civil engineering representative.
Almost 20,0000 vehicles pass through Victoria Street daily and with only one way to drive through Trail, traffic delays became a challenge during the (2013) initial stage of construction, according to Roe.
“This particular phase of the work is going to be off the highway,” he said. “There may be some instances when a truck will come in and have to stop.
But two lanes in either direction with traffic management should help,” said Roe. “Not all of the time, but most.”