The City of Nanaimo has started phase two of a three-part project to upgrade the infrastructure within the city.
Capital project management specialist James Knight says the project has been established as a priority at a special finance and audit committee meeting in 2020 to continue the city’s dedication of promoting cycling facilities on Albert Street.
Knight says the project is also designed to replace the aging infrastructure even though there isn’t an issue at this time.
“These will be significant improvements, and will really shore up the resiliency of the system,” Knight says.
Knight says changing climate and demands on the environment have made the city look back on what can be improved to make Nanaimo a more environmentally friendly city.
“We are replacing culverts under Albert Street so they can handle larger storms that are expected due to climate change,” he says. “The improvements will also be a little more friendly towards fish with baffles and gravel to enhance the aquatic environment.”
Knight says there are some small fractures in the system right now, and due to the current location, this is the best time to replace it.
“The water main that was replaced a couple of years ago has a few small pin holes in it, so it is a very good time to replace it” he says. “It is also very close to a stream right now, which would make it quite difficult to access and repair.
“The new water main will be on Albert Street and much more accessible.”
Costs for the project have been estimated at just over four million dollars, but Knight says the city has already obtained more than one million in grants for the project which will be dispersed to cover all aspects of the project.
“The overall cost is expected to be $4.4 million with $2.2 million going to utilities, $1.3 million to roadwork, and $900,000 for sidewalks,” he says.
He says construction on the roadway and retaining on Albert Street. He is expecting the work to take eight months to finish and says the city has closed off the section of road for vehicle traffic only until the work is done.
“We have closed off Albert Street between Pine and Kennedy, but it is still open to pedestrian and cyclist traffic only,” Knight says. “We expect all the work to be done by the end of November.”
The next phase of the project is expected to focus on active mobility, but Knight says there is no definite date for when phase three will start.