Major upgrades to Courtenay’s 5th Street begin in the spring

Learn more at upcoming open house

After extensive public input, and information gained from a temporary “pop-up “intersection this past summer, over $3.2 million in infrastructure upgrades to 5th Street will start this spring.

Come fall, 5th Street will be an attractive gateway to downtown Courtenay and walking, and cycling routes on the corridor will be significantly improved.

An information session will be held for citizens, businesses and community groups to learn more about the final design, results of the “pop up” intersection study, and what to expect during construction.

The “5th Street Complete Street Open House” will take place Thursday, Jan. 25, 5-7 p.m. at the Florence Filberg Centre, 411 Anderton Ave., in the Rotary Hall (downstairs).

A “complete street” meets the needs of all road users including people in cars, on bikes, on foot, and on the bus. When completed, 5th Street – between Fitzgerald and Menzies Avenues – will have:

• Two freshly paved vehicle lanes

• Bike lanes physically separated from vehicle traffic

• Improved accessibility for strollers, scooters, and wheelchairs

• Parking between Fitzgerald and Harmston, and alternating parking and rain gardens throughout the remainder of the corridor

• Innovative stormwater management to improve drainage

• New water, sewer, and storm utility mains

To assess traffic patterns and to inform the detailed design, a temporary “pop up” intersection was installed from April to October 2017. The temporary installation reduced the distance for people crossing on foot at the intersection by repurposing the northbound and westbound auxiliary lanes, as well as reducing pavement width along the southbound and eastbound approaches. An independent third-party traffic study found that the installation did not adversely affect vehicle performance at the intersection, and in fact reduced vehicle wait times at the intersection during peak times.

The 5th Street Complete Street Pilot is one of City Council’s strategic priorities and will be the first “complete street” project in Courtenay. The lessons learned through the project design and construction phases will inform future project planning including the Transportation Master Plan process that will occur this year.

The $3.253 million project is 100 per cent funded by the federal Gas Tax Fund, under the Strategic Priorities – Local Roads, Bridges, and Active Transportation category. The construction contract will be advertised and awarded this spring.

For more information: www.courtenay.ca/completestreet

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