While much of the community slowed down over the past year or so, the same can’t be said for the work being done by City of Campbell River maintenance crews and contractors.
As has been the case for the last couple of years, much of the city’s infrastructure spending – and possibly the most visible of it – has been the ongoing Waterfront Project on Highway 19A between Rockland Road and 1st Avenue.
City Manager Deborah Sargent says the bulk of that work has now been completed, with just a few finishing touches remaining.
“By far the biggest infrastructure we were involved in in 2020 was the Waterfront Project again,” Sargent says. “It’s a three-year project that we’ll be finalizing now in 2021. Last year was the installation of the roundabout and the paving – at least to a state that it can be driven on. We’re still in the process of installing the three new sewer lift stations, and what we’re really looking forward to in 2021 is the above-ground improvements: landscaping and park spaces, removing the overhead power lines – BC Hydro is currently finalizing their timeline for that work – and of course finishing the road paving.”
While its been a long and sometimes arduous process, Sargent says, the finish line is in sight.
“We really appreciate the patience that the drivers in our community have shown through the alternating traffic arrangements on that stretch of Highway 19A to allow for that construction,” Sargent says. “We anticipate most of the construction in 2021 will be off of the roadway, but there may be some need to have alternating traffic arrangements as well … but it will be very intermittent compared to 2020.”
And while that project got a lot of attention, there were certainly other infrastructure projects happening last year, as well.
Phase one of the waterline replacement on Hilchey Road took place last year between Galerno and Penfield, and that work will continue into 2021, as well.
“This year we’ll be doing the lower part, from Galerno down to Highway 19A,” Sargent says.
There were also many “partnership projects” completed last year.
“The construction was also completed on the Robron Fieldhouse in 2020,” Sargent says. “We haven’t been able to use it yet, obviously, because of all the restrictions on gatherings, but we’re really looking forward to opening that up, and, of course, there was also the opening of phase two of the bike park.”
Those types of projects come together thanks to the partnerships between local organizations – the Campbell River Youth Soccer Association and Rotary in the case of the fieldhouse, for example – and the city, and often take many years to come to fruition.
“These community projects were four, five years in the making, but they came to fruition in our COVID year,” Sargent says, for which she gives much of the credit to the dedication of those organizations, city staff and the local contractors who got the work done.
Of course, there were also many additional bus shelters installed, a new transit pullout at Carihi, and many more projects taking place “behind the scenes,” Sargent says, such as the planning work for coming improvements at the Seagull Walkway behind Georgia Quay and the planning for the new library coming to downtown.
And things don’t look to be slowing down going forward, either, as the city currently has another $21-million in its 2021 budget for capital projects, so stay tuned for more news as the city continues to develop and improve its infrastructure for its residents and businesses.