From left: Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells, Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson and Eric Sears of Urban Systems celebrate the 5th Street Complete Street Pilot Project. Scott Stanfield photo

Complete Street pilot project celebrated

Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells and other delegates presided over a Monday ceremony to celebrate the 5th Street Complete Street Pilot Project.

Street upgrades include bike lanes separated by rain gardens, new landscaping, shorter crosswalks, sloped curbing, fresh pavement and new signage. New infrastructure replaces pipes installed 60 years ago.

“Walking and cycling routes along the corridor leading to downtown are significantly improved,” Wells said. “Bike lanes are physically separated from traffic, and there is improved accessibility for strollers, scooters and wheelchairs. As well, rain gardens seen along the street provide an innovative solution to stormwater and improve drainage.”

Construction started last April and took about seven months to complete.

The project was made possible by a $3.253 million federal grant, and $41,900 from the ICBC Road Safety program.

“The 5th Street project is a great example of infrastructure designed for people of all ages and abilities, that encourages more cycling and walking, while protecting our environment through smart landscaping and stormwater management – now and in the future,” said Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo.

Wells and Malcolmson unveiled a new interpretive sign to mark rain gardens along 5th Street.

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