Campbell River city council recently toured the St Ann’s Block area as part of the lead up to the downtown revitalization and upgrade work about to happen in this area.
“Downtown revitalization is a council priority. This project is a good start on creating an improved downtown core area,” said Mayor Walter Jakeway. “During the tour it became evident that we need to upgrade the infrastructure in this area. When a city has buried wood stave drainage pipe, it’s time to modernize before serious problems arise. I’m looking forward to seeing the work start and believe it will be worth the investment.”
The St Ann’s project involves upgrading underground services—such as sewer, water, storm drainage, etc.—and making above-ground improvements to roads, landscaping, sidewalks and public areas that connect 10th Avenue to Shoppers Row via the St. Ann’s block area (defined by the north-south boundary of Beech Street and St. Ann’s Road and the east-west boundary of Dubeau and Alder streets.)
“Residents in other areas of the city should not feel forgotten, they are not being ignored, however the timing of this St. Ann’s work fits with the major new building construction,” Jakeway added.
The tour, led by Campbell River Capital Works Manager, Jason Hartley, P.Eng, covered above and below ground works, hydro and utilities, road and sidewalk plans, landscaping and outlined some of the challenges of the site. Some of these include the poor condition of the soil with the presence of beach gravels and organic matters as the project site was once much close to the beach and waterfront.
It is expected that these upgrades alongside the new Seymour Pacific office building being built in the same block, will drastically change the entire area.
For example, the aboveground upgrades will help to create inviting spaces for pedestrians, cyclists and visitors. New trees, plus small park-like spaces and garden areas will work together to create places where visitors and shoppers might mingle with workers on lunch hour. New streetlights (similar to those in Willow Point and on Highway 19A) will improve lighting in the evening and creative paving stones and the inclusion of artistic elements will lend visual interest to streets and lane ways. Options for sidewalk patio space allow for the activities and energy inside the spaces to be brought out into the public realm.
The next steps in the project involve finalizing design and tendering for the construction work, which is expected to begin in June. Once the tender is awarded the city will work with the contractor to establish a Traffic Management Plan that will endeavour to minimize disruptions to local businesses, visitors, and residents. The city has established a website project page here to share information and will offer regular updates via local media, e-mail and directly to site neighbours to keep everyone informed.