100 Avenue has partially reopened to traffic in downtown Grande Prairie. (mygrandeprairienow.com staff)
While construction crews are still on-site in pockets along 100 Avenue, at least one lane of traffic is now open for business for drivers, with sidewalks and storefronts also primarily cleared between 98 Street and 102 Street.
Work on the fourth and final stage of the Downtown Rehabilitation Project started back in May, and Downtown Association Executive Director Wendy Bosch says the finish line being so close is a major boost for business owners.
“It’s nearly open, we have a few spaces that are a little slimmer for traffic for one block, but overall it’s open to the public and a long time waiting for that to happen,” she says.
“It’s been nearly half a year with construction, such a difficult time for all business… coupled with the challenges of living in a pandemic.”
Bosch says with the holiday season soon arriving, it will be nice for both residents and business owners alike to be at least have the ability to stroll through the downtown core during what is a very busy season.
“There is some sense of normalcy coming back, and with the pandemic attached to construction, it is something these businesses have been waiting for… waiting for the public to come back and enjoying seeing all the faces come in,” she adds.
“I hope people will recognize how beautiful it looks, it’s sustainable, it’s something we can grow with in the future and become something that is special to our community.”
The $14 million project completes the fourth stage of revitalization on 100 Avenue from west of 100 Street to 98 Street. Since construction began in the spring, crews have completed sanitary line replacement, roadway construction, the installation of wider sidewalks, as well as higher-visibility pedestrian crossings.