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Bernard Avenue Revitalization

Bernard Avenue reopens

Nearly two years after work began, Mayor Walter Gray cut the ribbon Friday afternoon to officially reopen Kelowna's main street. 

The $14-million improvements saw four lanes narrowed into two plus a centre turning lane, expanded outdoor retail and cafe space, widened sidewalks for pedestrians, new street furniture, new landscaping and replaced utilities.

"This project was one of the first to be realized out of the downtown plan," said Gray. "It has become a catalyst to improving our downtown."

The mayor added that he believes "it is truly happening downtown" with new parkades, an expanded Stuart Park, $5.6-million investment into the transit exchange and private developments like the public pier and the Kelowna Yacht clubhouse, among other proposed projects.

Dustin Sargent of the Downtown Kelowna Association said he is excited to have the street completed.

"Thank you to all the people involved, from the contractor to the City, to the businesses that made this process the best it could be," he said.

Residents are encouraged to discover the new Bernard Avenue and share photos on the city's Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram tagged with #BernardSelfie to be entered to win a pair of tickets to tribute band 'God Save the Queen."

Visit to learn more about everything happening downtown and elsewhere in Kelowna.

Final paving set for Bernard

Beginning Tuesday, May 27 at 7 a.m. Bernard Avenue from St. Paul to Pandosy streets, including the Ellis and Pandosy intersections, will be closed until Wednesday, May 28 at 6 p.m. to thru traffic for top lift paving.

This schedule is subject to change, as paving is weather dependant and precipitation could cause delays.

Sidewalks will remain open and businesses will remain accessible. The truck route will be rerouted temporarily to Gordon Drive.

Traffic control personnel will be directing motorists and pedestrians. The public’s cooperation and patience during this final paving is appreciated.

All transit routes into and out of the Queensway transit station will continue as usual, with minor downtown routing adjustments.

It is anticipated that the reopening of Bernard Avenue in its entirety will be after 4 p.m. on Friday, May 30.

Bernard grand opening nears

Early and most likely under budget.

The Bernard Avenue revitalization project, which began after Labour Day of 2012, will be complete and open before the end of May - one full month ahead of schedule.

According to Design and Construction Director, Bill Berry, the heavy lifting is done.

Now, it's just the little things.

A few lights still need to be fully installed, some concrete work has to be completed and a bit of hardware is left to install.

After that it's site clean-up and the official ribbon cutting.

While a date hasn't been determined yet, Berry expects that to be sometime during the final week of May.

The revitalization project was originally scheduled to span three phases beginning in September of 2012.

Construction was slated to avoid summer construction time and be complete by December of last year.

That timeline was bumped back after a strike by FortisBC last fall meant certain work on phase three couldn't be done.

That work was done this year during phase 3A which encompassed work between Pandosy and Ellis streets.

As for the cost, Berry says it won't be fully determined until after all the bills come in, but he says it is feasible the project could come in slightly under the $14M budget.


Bernard and the weather

Weather - more specifically rain - will determine whether the final phase of the Bernard Avenue Revitalization project will finish ahead of schedule.

The $14.3M utility replacement and beautification project has been undertaken in phases starting back in September, 2012.

The final phase, between Pandosy and Ellis streets, is scheduled for completion in early June.

"We will be done on scheduled which means we'll be done in June," says Design and Construction Director Bill Berry.

"It's just that if the weather really opened up and we got good weather there is a chance we could be done a week or two early. It's really hard to predict now because you don't know how it's going to turn out."

Berry says the rain obviously halts both the pouring of concrete and laying of asphalt.

"They can do a lot of the other things. They can put down benches and things like that, but we have to get the concrete down first," says Berry.

"Then they put down all the paver blocks a piece at a time and once those are all down you can put up the street lights. There actually is a bit of work left to go, but once the concrete is done and finished that allows us to start working on the small stuff."

As for the roadwork itself Berry says the top lift of pavement from Pandosy to St. Paul still has to be done.

Bernard Ave in final stages

The first layer of paving is underway on the final phase of Bernard Avenue which marks the completion of utilities and the commencement of streetscaping and landscaping work.

This will be your last chance to walk in the middle of the road when walkways temporarily shift from next to the buildings onto the middle of the newly paved road for the final time.

Businesses are open as usual and accessible with corridors from the center of the road to each business entrance, minimizing disruption to pedestrians and business accesses while allowing for the removal and reconstruction of the sidewalks.

“The water main and storm systems are now complete and we are looking forward to the sidewalk construction and proceeding to the final steps of the project,” said Bill Berry, Design & Construction Services Director.

“New trees, benches and the installation of the last light standards will complete the consistent look of Bernard Avenue from the Sails to the Gateway at Richter Street.”

The $14-million improvements will see four lanes narrowed into two lanes and a centre turning lane, expanded outdoor retail and cafe space, wider sidewalks for pedestrians, street furniture, intersection plazas, landscaping and replacing of utilities.

Final paving, finishing work and permanent road markings of the previous phase between St. Paul and Ellis streets will occur this spring in conjunction with completion of the current phase between Ellis and Water streets, scheduled for June 2014.

“If you haven’t seen the construction downtown you’ve got to stop by, visit your favorite business and check out how things are constructed before it’s all done,” said Berry. “It’s really an attraction in itself.”

The Downtown Kelowna Association is running the Great-Big-Bernard-Giveaway Contest with a $500 prize drawn every three weeks. Visit for more details.


Read more Bernard Ave. Revitalization articles

Time Lapse Video: City of Kelowna
Bernard Avenue is still open for business during the construction. Businesses with websites will open in another window.
A.F.R. Sushi
Airwaves Music
Alexander Cutlery & Gifts
ALLEYCAT fashion outlet
American Apparel
Amni Athletica
Amy's Gifts
Anka's European Tailoring
Annegret's Fine European Chocolates
ARC Programs Ltd.
Arcade Audio Lounge
Articulate Creative Arts Connection
Astral Media
Asuka Japanese Restaurant
Aviva Studios
Bai Tong Thai Restaurant
Banka & Company Inc. (CGA)
BC Vital Statistics Agency
Bean Scene Coffee Works
Behind the Fly
Bernard Dental
Beside Myself
Bia Boro Boutique
Blackfish Apparel
Bliss Bridal
BMO - Harris Private Banking
Bohemian Cafe & Catering Company
Burnett's Florist
Business Development Bank Of Canada (BDC)
Cadence Footwear
Cafe Soleil
Calowna Costume
Canadian Gold & Silver
Canadian Jewelery Exchange
Canadorado Operating Company Ltd.
Cantalta Group
Carlos O'Bryans Pubs
Carlson Wagonlit Travel Travel Agent
Carson Photography
Casa Sasso Italian Food Bar
Change for Good Counselling
Christian Science Society
Codispoti Jewellery
Collective Apparel
Columbus Network Corp.
Cruzwear Unlimited
Diamond Gallery
Doc Willoughby's
Donahue & Associates
Downtown Eyewear
Downtown Kelowna Association
Downtown Marina
Downtown Safeway
Downtown Tan
Dynamic Studios Tattoo & Apparel
Earls On Top
Fernando's Pub
Festivals Kelowna
Footwear Emporium
Freelance Accounting Ltd.
Funktional Gifts
Gifts for Him
Grateful Fed, The
heART school kelowna
Heather Zais - Psychic/Astrologer/Medium
Heaven On Earth Spa
Hemp City
Home For Dinner
Industrial Alliance Pacific Insurance & Financial
Inner Haven Decorating
Inspire Health Integrative Cancer Care
Interior Savings Credit Union
International Gateway Kelowna
International Gems
IQ Computers
ivivva athletica
James Haworth & Son Ltd.
Job Options BC - YMCA YWCA of Okanagan
Kelly O'Bryans Restaurant
Kelowna Gold Buyers - Northwest Diamonds Inc
Kelowna Website Design
Kmotion Apparel
Kochhar & Co. Chartered Accountant Inc.
La Belle Boutique
Lakehouse Home Store
Lavish Design
Le reve Boutique
Liquor Control & Licensing Branch
lululemon athletica
MacDermott's on Bernard
MacD's Lakeside
Mad Mango Cafe
Main Street Studio
Mary Claris Hair Extensions
Mavazi Apparel Apparel & Accessories
Meiklejohn Architects Inc.
Memphis Blues BBQ House
Mimi's Italian Grill
Ministry of Justice - Family Justice Services
Minnella Drycleaners
MKS Resources & Lexington Enterprises
Modern Accents
Molly's Garden Cafe
Momo Sushi
Moo-Lix Ice Cream
Mosaic Books
Moxy Apparel
National Bank Financial Wealth Management
Natural Rezources
Okanagan Diamond Gallery
Okanagan Lipo Laser & Spa
Okanagan Rug and Art
Okanagan Spirits
One Path Logistics
Paramount Theatre
Perpetual Blooms
Picture Perfect
Pita Pit
Raw Athletics
Royal Anne Hotel
rt Strategy Inc.
Rush Ihas Hardwick LLP Litigation Lawyers
Sai-Gon Restaurant
Salted Brick
Sawasadee Thai Yoga Massage
Service BC
Shapers Hair Salon & Spa
Shoppers Drug Mart
Sliderz Community House
Smokanagan Gift Shop
Smoke's Poutinerie Kelowna
Soban Korean Bistro
Societe De Developpment Economique (SDE)
SOUL eyewear
Sourvenirs Kelowna
SS Korean Restaurant
Starbucks Coffee Company
Style Boutique
SubCity Donair
Surf Culture Clothing
Sweet Cravings
Ten Fashions Bridal Boutique & Special Occasions
Tessmer Law Offices
The Lister Real Estate Co.
The Pear Workshop
The Bread Company
The Collective
The Downtown Shoe Store
The Grateful Fed
The Hot Box Yoga
The House of The Caribbean Food Supply
The Lodging Company
The Rotten Grape Wine & Espresso Bar
Ticketmaster Outlet
Tigerlily Fashion
Tobaccoland of Kelowna
Topline Selections
Towne Centre Mall
Towne Centre Postal Services & Card Shop
Tripke Bakery & Bistro
Twisted Tomato
Uniquity Creations and Consignments
Valley First Credit Union
WealthLINK Financial Services
Western Union Business Solutions
Wild Mountain
Woodcreek Cottage
X10sion 207 Clothing Company

Business List: Downtown Kelowna Association

Informative Links

City of Kelowna Multimedia Page
Project Photos
Getting Around
It's Happening
List: City of Kelowna

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