If you’re planning on heading downtown you might have to plan a bit of an alternate route.
That’s because the District is temporarily closing public vehicle access to the Poulton Avenue and 9th Street intersection so that crews can work on completing a 20-week downtown revitalization project. The closure will be in place for the remainder of the construction.
Crews with Canyon Contracting Company, based out of Smithers, will be installing underground infrastructure, including a new water main, valve clusters and a fire hydrant along the route. They will also be repairing the existing sanitary sewer main.
The construction is part of a larger bid by the district to increase activity downtown by beautifying the area and encouraging new local businesses in an attempt to draw more people passing along Highway 16 into town.
It comes as a result of a 2019 report to council which highlighted a number of challenges facing the current downtown, including the lack of a cohesive identity, a number of empty lots and spaces, a lack of places attractive enough to entice people to linger and stay downtown and the fact that visibility of the downtown area from the highway – despite its proximity to it – is poor.
Other aspects of the plan include a community barn and plaza space that would be visible from Highway 16 and decorative crosswalks with thematic patterns sandblasted into them as tools to enhance visitors’ downtown experience.
Upgrades to the south side of Highway 16 were estimated at approximately $1.5 million when council reviewed them in early 2019.
“Our construction crew has been hard at work completing the removal of over 100 truck boxes of excavated material, installing approximately 80 lineal metres of new water line, identified existing underground infrastructure in the construction zone, and prepared more asphalt for future removal,” said the District in a media release thanking residents for being understanding as repairs continue.
“The construction crews are appreciating the kindness and patience from the public and want to say a big thank you Houston!”
In addition to the above intersection closure, the renovations will see the section of Poulton Avenue between Highway 16 and 9th Street permanently closed once construction is finished.