Grande Prairie’s downtown core will be going through major transformation over the next couple of years, and the first phase starts in a few weeks. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Wednesday, at which Mayor Bill Given maintained the City would keep residents informed of any disruptions.
“Downtown will continue to be open for business the entire was through this construction period. The City has ensured that the contractors are required to provide access to all the businesses, and on an ongoing basis we’re going to be providing regular updates to the community so they know where construction will be, what the status is, and how they can best get to downtown businesses.”
Beginning in early August, construction will begin on 101st Street, from the train tracks by Revolution Place north to 101st Avenue. Given explains they’re starting in that section as there’s a major sewer trunk line that needs to be replaced.
Throughout the project, crews will be working underground to replace and upgrade sanitary, storm and water lines. Above ground, residents will notice new roadways, intersections, curbs, gutters and sidewalks. The project also includes trees, benches, and lights.
Given says he’s most looking forward to the creation of a shared avenue streetscape on 101st Avenue in 2017. While there will be traffic disruptions, he argues it’s worth it in the long run.
“The main goal of this project is to really provide a foundation for the future growth of our downtown. I believe our downtown is already a vibrant neighbourhood and a vibrant part of our community, but this is going to set the stage for the next 50 years of growth in our downtown.”
In total, the four phases are expected to run $20 million, along with an investment from Aquatera.