The final phase of the $14-million revitalization project on Kelowna’s “Main Street” gets underway on Monday, March 3 from Ellis to Pandosy.
“This Bernard Avenue project has really led the way in the revitalization of our downtown,” says Bill Berry, Director of Design & Construction Services.
“We’re starting to see the beginning of a lot of really exciting developments and plans that will make downtown a hub for the community.”
During construction it will be business as usual for restaurants, retail outlets and the unique shops that give Bernard Avenue its distinct character. Walkways and access to businesses will be maintained.
“We’ve had successes as well as challenges in the delivery of this project but in the end hope we have met the expectation of residents and the business community,” says Berry.
“I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say we can’t wait to see the finished product.”
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 replacement of utilities.
The existing trees were evaluated prior to the start of the project but removal was necessary because of their declining health and the need to improve sidewalk drainage and pedestrian circulation.
The new trees, which are Skyline Honey Locust, are a species more appropriate for urban settings. About 140 new trees will be planted along Bernard Avenue in total in all phases, while about 70 were removed.
Final paving, finishing work and permanent road markings of the previous phase between St. Paul and Ellis streets will occur this spring with completion of the revitalization scheduled for June 2014.