This year’s summer season in the City of Williams Lake can rightfully be referred to as construction season.
Starting May 8 the city plans to undertake a series of roadworks to upgrade a section of Oliver Street, perform a traffic light upgrade and improve some sections of sidewalk. Upgrades to sewer and water mains will also be made.
Areas of construction will include the Oliver Street corridor from Eighth Ave. to Mackenzie Ave. where repaving work will be done; a traffic light upgrade will be completed at Third Ave. and Oliver St. and the crosswalk will be replaced; the sidewalk between Third Ave. and Borland St. will also be replaced. In addition, the construction will bring irrigation to the City’s 13 planters (downtown islands) to reduce labour costs as well as provide more consistent watering.
The entire project is expected to cost $600,000.
B.C. Hydro also intends to undertake work installing underground hydro in the area; that project is unrelated to the City’s work.
All the work will occur in the downtown core and City staff say in spite of it the downtown will remain open. Roadworks will take place during daylight hours, Sunday through Thursday. Traffic and parking on Oliver will be limited to the north lane only while contractors are at work. If there is a need to block Oliver that work will be completed through the evening hours starting at 7 p.m.
“We want to keep downtown open for business. It will be an inconvenience but want to be as pedestrian and vehicular friendly as possible downtown,” said Kevin Goldfuss, director of municipal services. “Downtown is open.”
The City has spoken to the Williams Lake and District Downtown Business Improvement Association about the project and has received positive feedback, Goldfuss said. Staff will canvass downtown businesses starting this week.
Construction will cease for the City’s big summer events like Stampede, a show and shine and the festivities for Aboriginal Day.
The City expects the water/sewer line work to be complete by June 20; the traffic light upgrade to be complete no later than June 15 and the repaving of Oliver by no later than Sept. 30.