The intersection at 5th Street and Fitzgerald Avenue is reopening in time for Thanksgiving weekend.
It’s expected to open by the end of day Friday, along with the block between Fitzgerald and Harmston avenues.
Upgrades to 5th are progressing each day as the Complete Street Pilot Project heads into the home stretch. The first layer of asphalt has been installed, with a second layer to be installed in the near future. Periodic single-lane traffic or short closures may occur later in the month to finalize sidewalks and landscaping.
Commuters are asked to be aware of bumps at transitions between the old and new asphalt. These bumps will remain until the second layer of asphalt is installed.
The portion of 5th west of Harmston may look ready for reopening, but there will still be construction activity underway in the area. For the protection of work crews and the public, the road will be reopened to all modes of transportation when it has been deemed safe to do so for all concerned.
Over the coming weeks, residents can expect to see the sidewalks completed, rain gardens and landscaping installed, followed by bike lanes, signage and road markings.
Next week, the new rain gardens will start to take shape. Rain gardens receive water that flows off sidewalks, bike lanes and streets, reducing the flow of water entering the City’s stormwater network. Rainwater is then slowly and naturally reabsorbed into the ground. With the addition of plants where asphalt used to lay, the gardens add visual appeal to the area, and create a physical barrier between vehicle traffic and new bike lanes.
Protected bike lanes will also take shape once new asphalt is in place. The lanes will provide safe and comfortable connections to downtown, schools, and population transportation hubs, including bus routes. Protected bike lanes help create a street that is safer and more comfortable for people who walk and bike, and may encourage residents to walk or bike instead of drive.
Project costs up to $3.253 million are covered through the federal Gas Tax Fund, under the Strategic Priorities Fund – Local Roads, Bridges and Active Transportation category.
In addition to surface upgrades, the project has replaced all below-ground infrastructure on this 500-metre long section of 5th.
The City of Courtenay thanks the public for their patience during the construction of this important infrastructure project.