Reconstruction of Fourth Avenue has started in Ladysmith.
The contractor was on site last week beginning work on upgrades and replacement to both the underground works as well as the surface infrastructure.
According to Ryan Bouma, director of infrastructure services for the Town of Ladysmith, the project will require the replacement of the underground infrastructure including sewer, water and storm water, along with electrical including upgraded LED street lighting. This phase of the reconstruction will also see the installation of a roundabout at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Belaire Street, currently a four-way stop.
“There will be no requirement for extra property for the roundabout, and it will be able to accommodate all present traffic, including heavy vehicle traffic as well as emergency vehicles, as the existing intersection does,” Bouma said.
The initial tenders received by the town came in over budget so council instructed staff to re-tender the project with a longer time frame for completion. After the new bids were received, the town accepted the bid from Nanaimo’s Hazelwood Construction to complete the work between April and September, but the contractor was able to find the staff and time to start the work ahead of schedule.
This phase of the project is being done at a cost of $2.3 million, with $514,000 from the federal government’s community building fund. The initial phase encompasses the section of Fourth Avenue between Root Street and White Street.
“Some underground works, south to Hambrook Street, are also included but that block will not have any resurfacing of the pavement,” said Bouma. “The existing sidewalk, along the project length, will remain. The present sidewalk is in decent shape so it was felt that there would be a considerable cost saving by not removing the existing concrete and redoing it at this time. There is no underground works in the sidewalk area, so there is really no need to disturb it.”
The redevelopment of Fourth Avenue will involve a new landscaped boulevard from the sidewalk on the west side to the new pavement and there will be new non-mountable curbing installed on both sides of the new pavement.
Bouma pointed out that with the 3.5-metre width of the travel lanes and the curbing on either side, there is no requirement for traffic calming measures. The town expects that the narrower lanes will influence drivers to slow down.
“The redevelopment of Fourth Avenue will also feature ‘bump-outs’ at cross intersections which will also give the impression of a narrower road and will also allow for on-street parking on the west side,” Bouma said.
From time to time there will be disruptions to traffic, and the patience of motorists is appreciated. There will be signs posted indicating that there will be local traffic only in the work zone, and other traffic will be diverted away from the construction area. More information, progress reports and detour notices will be posted at www.ladysmith.ca.