Story by Troy Landreville, MyComoxValleyNow.com

COURTENAY, B.C. – Construction along 5th Street is extending east after the Canada Day long weekend.

The construction will shift east from Harmston Avenue to Fitzgerald Avenue to upgrade 60-year-old watermains.

Work will continue through the summer and paving of the entire project area will occur all at once in September.

Due to the construction, the Canada Day parade will have a shortened route down 5th Street, and the staging area will be on Harmston Avenue.

To view the 2018 parade route and other Canada Day event information, visit www.courtenay.ca/canadaday.

According to the City of Courtenay, the traffic management plan is being prepared to complete the remaining underground work in the shortest amount of time to reduce impacts to area properties and businesses downtown.

Over the first few weeks of July, periods of one-way traffic on 5th Street between Harmston and Fitzgerald are expected, with full closures expected at times later in the summer.

Scheduled water interruptions in the immediate area were initially going to occur in phases, with some connections planned for late June.

The City notes that the “contractor has since adjusted the approach to incorporate scheduling efficiencies, and the water connections will now occur all at once in July. Short, scheduled water interruptions are required to connect private properties to the new water main. Property owners will be notified of scheduled water interruptions with several days’ written notice.”

Businesses on 5th Street will remain open and pedestrian access will be open at all times.

Signage will be installed to advertise that the area is “Open for Business,” according to the City.

“While construction can be challenging, the new infrastructure will serve the neighbourhood and the region for decades to come,” the City said in a press release.

Later this summer, construction will shift to “above-ground” infrastructure, including:

• two freshly paved 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; and

• innovative stormwater management to improve drainage.

All eligible project costs will be covered through the federal Gas Tax Fund, under the Strategic Priorities Fund – Local Roads, Bridges and Active Transportation category.

For more information on the project, and to sign up for project updates by email, visit www.courtenay.ca/completestreet.