The St Ann’s block area has been completely transformed (above) from being a location without a defined purpose to an inviting “people place” in the heart of Campbell River’s downtown.

Finishing touches wrap up on downtown Campbell River upgrade

The end result dramatically transforms both the look and feel of the area

Finishing touches are currently underway on the St Ann’s upgrade project, which should wrap up early this month.

This nine-month, $4.048 million project involved upgrades to underground services including sewer, water and storm drainage systems, as well as above-ground improvements to roads, sidewalks, streetlights and landscaping for the area connecting 10th Avenue to Shoppers Row.

“This work changes the entire look and feel of the area. This is a huge step forward in revitalizing downtown and making it a desirable place to work, visit, shop and do business,” said Councillor Claire Moglove, who holds the economic development portfolio for City Council. “If you recall the plaza that was there previously, there is no question that the area has been totally transformed. The fact that we were able to achieve this by piggybacking the aboveground improvements onto the very necessary underground infrastructure updates is testament to good planning and design.”

As intended, the end result dramatically transforms both the look and feel of the area. The goals of the project, shaped during public consultation sessions in December 2012, included linking waterfront green spaces to City Hall, creating shared space where public areas blend with commercial properties, and animating the public space so that street level activity focuses on people – to make visitors feel welcome and help businesses reap the benefits of the new energy that comes from a well designed and inviting potential destination for residents, shoppers and visitors.

Landscaping features local and west coast plant and tree varieties such as Kinnikinnick and scarlet oak, and plantings fit into an overall design scheme that includes rain gardens to direct storm water runoff and upgraded piping installed below the surface to re-direct pooling water that had been a problem in this area.

A more balanced approach to various modes of transportation also enhances the pedestrian experience in this area.

The St. Ann’s upgrade project will be completed within the approved budget and as scheduled at the end of the month in spite of freezing temperatures and snow, which presented the contractor with logistical challenges starting in December and continuing on and off through to March.

Residents should note that work continues on the Seymour Pacific Developments Office building site. This project, the creation of a new national headquarters for Seymour Pacific Developments is anticipated to be complete later this year.