It’s finally time. The 5th Street Bridge will start its makeover this week.

With work kicking off this Thursday, you will be seeing delays and detours if you drive, walk, cycle or take transit.

The bridge will be reduced to single lane alternating traffic in the coming days to help prepare valley residents for the construction, which is expected to last for about six months.

Once the project officially starts, here’s what you should expect:

Existing lanes on the east and west sides of the bridge will be adjusted to create dedicated priority vehicle lanes for transit and emergency services. Vehicles over three metres in height will not be able to cross the bridge for the duration of construction.

Temporary walkways will be constructed on both the north and south sides of the bridge for people who walk or cycle. Cyclists using these walkways will need to dismount and walk their bikes. Cyclists may also use the priority vehicle lane and ride across the bridge.

In the coming days, the underpasses at both ends of the 5th Street Bridge will be closed. Originally it was anticipated the underpass between Lewis and Simms parks could remain open to people travelling on foot or by bike, however following further analysis it was determined that it will need to be closed to ensure the safety of the public.

To reduce the amount of cars crossing the bridge and to help out bus riders during the construction, the city says two new Park and Ride locations will be introduced at 721 Grant Avenue with access off 700-block Harmston or Grant avenues, and one at the Comox Valley Aquatic Centre.

The project will also affect current bus routes over the next six months.

To learn more about the 5th Street Bridge Project and to subscribe to receive regular email updates on the project, visit the City of Courtenay’s website.