For downtown motorists and pedestrians frustrated by the Bernard Revitalization, the City of Kelowna is offering prizes and a glimpse of what the fuss is all about.
The City of Kelowna has made available an animated fly-by of what residents can expect to see when the $14-million Bernard Avenue Revitalization, which began Sept. 5, is completed in the summer of 2014.
Improvements to Bernard Avenue, considered Kelowna’s main street, include wider sidewalks, a coordinated complement of street furniture, as well as more trees and vegetation.
Currently, Bernard Avenue from Ellis to Richter Street will be closed to motorists in order to accommodate the utility replacement and streetscaping portion of phase I.
“The Ellis Street intersection will be closed to motorists and the truck route will be rerouted temporarily to Gordon Drive until mid-October. Detour routes will be clearly marked and traffic safety personnel will be on site directing traffic,” the City says.
However, the City stresses that Bernard Avenue remains accessible to pedestrian traffic.
“Access to businesses, walkways and sidewalks is a priority. Pedestrian crossings at St. Paul and Bertram streets are permitted when safe and traffic personnel are present to assist.
“While Bernard Avenue is closed to vehicles between Richter and Ellis streets, including the Ellis intersection, the rest of Bernard Avenue is open to motorists, pedestrians and for parking.”
Residents and visitors can also expect construction noise at earlier and later hours than normal, as city council has amended the noise bylaw to allow for extended construction hours.
Crews are permitted to work from 6 a.m. to midnight, Monday to Saturday, with occasional work also allowable outside of these hours.
City offers cash prizes to downtown visitors
As a little incentive to keep business as usual in the downtown core, the City is holding a Bernard Avenue contest.
Those who shop or dine at businesses on Bernard Avenue in Phase 1— from Richter to Ellis Streets—will receive an entry slip. Contestants should enter the number from your entry slip online at Downtown Kelowna.
A $500 prize for downtown dollars will be drawn every two weeks.
Residents and visitors can find weekly updates on the project as well as photos of the construction at the City of Kelowna website.