May 18, 2013 / 5:00 am
It won't be long now before Bernard Avenue is once again fully open to traffic.
Phase 2 of the Bernard Avenue Revitalization project which has shut down Kelowna's main drag between Pandosy and Abbott streets since early Feb. is nearly complete.
The major work remaining on the second phase of the project centers around paving.
"Top lift paving is currently scheduled for Wed. or Thurs. (next week) but top lift is very weather dependent," says Kelly Kay, business liaison for the project.
"Even if the road is damp - if it rains the day before - that could delay that. It's scheduled but that doesn't mean it will occur."
At the present time, the forecast calls for showers Tue., Wed., and Thurs.
Once the final top lift of paving is complete then the line painters will come in and lay down the road markings.
After than, Kay says all that will be left will be smaller items such as furniture and curbing.
While there has been talk the project could be complete and the road re-opened by the end of the first week of June, Kay reminds people the contracted end of the project is June 30.
"Some of the remaining things like paving and line painting are so weather dependent we aren't really talking about an end date yet," says Kay.
"The contract does say they need to be done no later than June 30 so the contractor can actually be in the site until June 30."
There is however a provision which provides the contractor with a bonus if the project is complete and the road opens earlier than June 30.
The third and final phase of the Bernard Avenue project (Pandosy to St. Paul streets) will begin after Labour Day and is scheduled to be complete Dec. 7.
Again, depending on weather some additional work, such as top lift paving and line painting, may have to wait unti the spring of 2014.
Meantime, frequent visitors of downtown will have noticed several 'themes' within the design project.
Three distinct themes are being featured with unique design elements in each phase of the new streetscape.
“The themes are derived from our local natural and cultural heritage with tributes to the First Nation people of this area,” says Parks and Public Space Projects Manager Andrew Gibbs.
“Placemaking draws on a community’s assets, inspiration and potential to create vibrant public spaces that promote discovery and enjoyment, and enhance the community’s attachment to public spaces.”
At the east end of Bernard, the street emphasizes the hillsides and grasslands of the valley. The west end emphasizes the lake and our aquatic environment. And in between the theme highlights the cultural history of our community.
Specific features to note include:
- Traffic bollards at the crosswalks inset with naturally rusting corten steel and cut out images relevant to the themes
- Natural wood plates on the light posts
- Natural basalt stone benches and pavers
- Local animals and plants engraved in sporadically placed polished basalt pavers
- Garbage cans, utility boxes and bike lockers uniquely wrapped with historical images
- Gobo lights projecting images onto the sidewalk
- Sidewalk etchings at pedestrian crossings
- Thematic public art components built into the light standards
Apr 16, 2013 / 10:44 am
Here's an update on the revitalization of Bernard Ave. from the City of Kelowna:
Utility replacment for the second phase of the revitalization from Abbott to Pandosy streets is now complete with sidewalks and landscaping to continue.
Now's your chance to walk in the middle of the road! Walkways have shifted from where you might expect them to right in the center of Bernard Avenue.
Businesses are open as usual and accessable with walkways directing you to their doors.
Sidewalks are the main focus in the upcoing weeks with the exisitng sidewalk being removed up to the building property lines and new walkways being prepared and poured.
The first section to be constructed will be the north side of Bernard Avenue between Pandosy and Water streets with the south side to follow.
See the design and phasing of construction
Now's a great time to see the before, during and after of the Revitalization with Phase 1 between Richter and St. Paul streets complete, Phase 2 between Pandosy and Abbott streets underway and Phase 3 between St. Paul and Pandosy streets still as it was and scheduled for this fall.
The City says there are more than 2,200 parking spots available downtown and they suggest you come down and check out the progress and the shops.
Apr 12, 2013 / 4:30 pm
Everything remains on schedule on phase 2 of the Bernard Avenue revitalization project.
Construction on phase 2 between Abbott and Pandosy streets began in early February and is scheduled to finish no later than the end of June, weather permitting of course.
Pavement has already been laid along the street itself and now crews are beginning to pour concrete for the new, wider sidewalks.
Ryan Watters with the Kelowna Downtown Association takes a look at the progress to date.
Apr 4, 2013 / 7:50 am
Asphalt is starting to roll out along Phase Two of the Bernard revitalization project and for many residents that is a good sign the city is paving its way to the finish line.
For Casey Harder of Plan B Headquarters, construction has not been an issue for his business, saying the closed sidewalks have actually directed people towards the salon -- located on Water Street -- instead of away.
"They seem ahead of schedule…. and it hasn't hindered business that much."
For some who work and live downtown, they have gotten to know the construction crews and are building relationships.
"The guys are promising to have our patio at the Bean Scene here in a couple of weeks," says one man.
While others are finding navigating downtown on foot, a challenge.
"I just walked from Ellis Street and it took me three hours to walk around the block," jokes a man.
Another woman says the area of concern is between Water Street and Bernard.
A boardwalk jogger commented, "It's like a maze, sometimes it is closed sometimes it is open."
Several people told Castanet crossing the street anywhere along Phase Two, 'is just horrible'.
Parking was an obvious concern for many people, who stated there was not enough spaces before construction started and they do not believe that the issue will be solved even after the project is complete.
Yet despite parking and pedestrian issues, it appears the Phase Two is right on schedule and not many people were complaining about that.
Purvex Irani, the City's Roadways Project Manager, says the street will have two lifts of asphalt poured and crews are currently working on the first.
"When we start doing the concert work on the sidewalks, pedestrians can be shifted on to the asphalt. So we can complete the concert work, frontage work and the street scaling which includes landscaping."
Irani believes the first phase of the asphalt will be finished this week and pedestrians will be using the roadway to walk along -just as they did in phase one- by this weekend.
Mar 25, 2013 / 4:59 pm
Merchants along Bernard Avenue who choose to set up an outdoor patio in front of their business will be able to do so, rent free, for two years.
Kelowna City Council approved the recommendation Monday.
Originally, staff suggested a grace period of one year when it appeared before council last month, however, it was believed businesses should get more of a break considering all the construction they are being forced to endure.
Council also felt rental rates should reflect the amount of money businesses put into design and construction of their particular patio.
The new rate structure allows businesses to set up sidewalk patios free of charge for two years beginning once construction is complete.
Year three will be charged at half the full rate with an additional rent break based on the value of improvements made.
Year four and onwards will be charged at the full rate.
The rate structure has been determined based on a cost per square foot and on location.
Businesses closer to the lake will pay more per square foot than those at the other end of Bernard Avenue based on foot traffic volume.
As for businesses on side streets such as Water Street and Ellis Street, existing programs and rates will remain unchanged.
Mayor Walter Gray did raise concerns about businesses being able to recoup their time if they were to do a lot of the work themselves.
City property manager, Ron Forbes, says improvement costs will be based on a summary of receipts provided by the tenant.
"If the tenant went forward and provided a lot of sweat equity, that's not something staff would be able to determine," says Forbes.
"If it does turn into a contentious issue we could have a Quantity Surveyor have a look at the value of that patio and provide a value based on the work that was actually done. That would take into account sweat equity as well."
Gray also raised questions surrounding quality of furnishings and the process in case of complaints.
"In order to develop those guidelines we've worked with staff from Infrastructure Planning as well as folks from the Design and Construction department. They are the folks that have put together the design criteria," says Forbes.
"We will be bringing the patio applications that are contentious back to them for them to review and provide input."
Applicants will be required to include their furnishing plan as part of the application process.
Read more Bernard Ave. Revitalization articles
Time Lapse Video: City of Kelowna
- Rental break coming for sidewalk patios Mar 23
- Boy scoots around phase 2 Feb 13
- Having fun during Bernard revitalization Feb 12
- New trees for old on Bernard Ave. Feb 8
- Closed to traffic, open for business Feb 4
(Click for RSS instructions.)