New sidewalks have been laid along 5th Street in Courtenay. Photo supplied

New sidewalks have been laid along 5th Street in Courtenay. Photo supplied

Courtenay 5th Street upgrades continue to take shape

Project remains on schedule for October completion

With the replacement of 60-year-old pipes and upgrades to underground systems now complete, the future of 5th Street, between Fitzgerald and Menzies, is starting to take shape with new sidewalks, tactile strips for the visually-impaired, and new curbing to make way for rain gardens and protected bike lanes.

The existing sidewalks between Harmston and Fitzgerald Avenues will be removed this week, to make way for crews to pour new sidewalks and curbs in September.

This work is an important step to be completed prior to repaving the street. To safely complete the work, at times the traveling public will experience single-lane alternating traffic and parking in the block will be affected until completion of the project.

At times road access will be limited to local residents. To avoid delay, we ask commuters to take alternate routes during this period.

With students returning to school this week, parents and students are reminded that the 5th Street Complete Street project is an active construction site, with work zones shifting regularly throughout the construction area. Parents and students walking or cycling to school are encouraged to use an alternate route until the project is completed in early October.

Improving accessibility was identified as a priority for both City council and the public when planning improvements to 5th Street. In addition to planned widening of sidewalks and narrower intersection crossings, new bright yellow tactile strips have been introduced around hydro poles to help people with visual impairments navigate Courtenay’s main street more easily. This is the first time the tactile strips have been installed in Courtenay.

The contractor will ensure clear pedestrian access to all businesses on 5th Street during this phase of street improvements and continue to try and minimize impacts while working to complete the project in October.

The $3.25 million 5th Street Complete Street pilot project is entirely funded by the federal Gas Tax Fund, under the Strategic Priorities – Local Roads, Bridges, and Active Transportation.

The improved corridor will reopen to all modes of transportation in October 2018.

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