Mission council has unanimously approved a $9.3 million, four-year construction program to improve the roadway, utilities and sidewalks along 14th Avenue.
The high-traffic road has been highlighted as a dangerous area for pedestrians in recent years, according to a staff report, and only 15 per cent is covered by concrete sidewalks.
“I’m excited. I think this phased-in project is absolutely ideal and we should get on it and get it done,” said Coun. Cal Crawford. “We have to look after our roadway systems in this community and we have to upgrade them.”
The district hired a consultant in August, 2019, to carry out relevant assessments and analyses, which is almost complete, the report says.
An improvement planned for 2,300 metres along 14th Avenue will include a 1.5 metre-wide sidewalk on the north side, a three metre-wide multi-use path on the south side for both cyclists and pedestrians, improved safety features and two left-turn lanes at major intersections, more bus stops, on-street parking for residents, numerous curb bulges and additional street lighting.
The project will also replace approximately one kilometre of a water-main, and 250 metres of a storm sewer.
Property along approximately 300 metres of 14th Avenue will need to be acquired through either negotiated purchases or dedications via future developments, and road widening will require the re-construction of numerous driveways along the street.
The project will be funded through a combination of various development cost charge (DCC) reserves.
There was some concern voiced by Coun. Carol Hamilton and Coun. Danny Plecas over the depletion of the district’s DCC reserves.
For instance, a road project on Stake Lake Road with an estimated cost of just under $20 million is also on the to-do list in the next five years.
Staff said that they are looking at revising the DCC bylaw – but this will take time and depends on more development – and other projects may need to be put on hold until those reserves are built back up. Alternatively, the funds could be borrowed.
Council decided the construction – and funding – will be staggered over four years so they don’t lock themselves into one project.
In 2021, improvements will be made from Hurd Street to Tanager Street coinciding with the water-main replacement; in 2022, improvements will be made from Grand Street to Cade Barr Street coinciding with the storm-sewer line replacement; in 2023, Cedar Street to Grand Street will start; followed by Tanager Street to Cedar Street in 2024.
The 2024 section is provisional, as it will require property acquisitions from areas that will likely be redeveloped.