The first phase of the $14-million revitalization project on Kelowna’s “Main Street” is nearing completion and Bernard Avenue will reopen to motorists on Friday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m.
“We are really pleased with the outcome,” said Bill Berry, Director of Design & Construction Services.
“The first phase from Richter to St. Paul streets was completed on time, with the old utilities replaced, wider sidewalks, new trees, lighting and benches.”
Remaining works may continue through December and next spring, including adding the public art components on the gateway feature at Richter Street and other minor streetscape esthetic improvements.
Temporary ramps at crosswalks are in place until top lift paving is completed. Final streetscaping treatments from St. Paul to Ellis streets are scheduled as part of Phase 3 which will begin next fall.
Berry says reaction to phase one changes from area businesses has been positive.
"I'm hearing positive reviews which is a good thing at this stage of the game because when you get into it it's a pretty devastating project. We rip everything out and everybody pictured bad things," says Berry.
"Now, on the weekend we'll be able to look at it, it's open and moving traffic and the guts of it are essentially done."
The traffic pattern on Bernard has changed and a new temporary merge area is present at St. Paul Street, where Bernard Avenue narrows to two lanes from four.
Parking between Richter and St. Paul streets is now parallel parking only. Motorists are urged to drive carefully and be aware of all posted signage, particularly at St. Paul and Richter streets.
Look for storm drainage improvements at Kerry Park to begin in January, as part of the Bernard Avenue Project.
Depending on weather, the Phase 2 Bernard Avenue road closure from Abbott to Pandosy streets is expected in February and completion is scheduled for June.
The City of Kelowna thanks residents, businesses and motorists for their patience while construction was taking place. Be sure to see it for yourself!