Uplands Nursery this year will do all of the 4600 Block of Lazelle Ave., beginning at its east end, and a portion of the 4700 Block. (File photo)

Uplands Nursery this year will do all of the 4600 Block of Lazelle Ave., beginning at its east end, and a portion of the 4700 Block. (File photo)

Lazelle sidewalk project begins June 14

Improvements coming to 4600 and 4700 Blocks

Work is to start Monday, June 14, on a two-year $590,000 project to fix up the sidewalk portions of two downtown blocks of Lazelle Ave.

Uplands Nursery this year will do all of the 4600 Block of Lazelle Ave., beginning at its east end, and a portion of the 4700 Block.

This year’s work will cost $370,000 with the remaining $220,000 to be spent on the remainder of the 4700 Block next year.

The work will consist of installing brick pavers in grass boulevard strips, adding trees, bike racks, garbage cans and other improvements — basically the same improvements made on Lakelse Ave. last year.

All of the money for this two-year project comes from grants — $200,000 from the Northern Development Initiative Trust and $390,000 taken from a multi-million provincial grant given to the city to spend as it sees fit on capital projects and planning.

For reference, the 4600 Block begins at the intersection of Lazelle and Kalum, that’s the corner where the new BCGEU office is and then runs west to the intersection of Lazelle and Emerson which is the corner where Canada Post is. It then continues west until Lazelle intersects with Sparks which is the corner containing the Northern Savings Credit Union. The 4700 Block begins at the intersection of Lazelle and Sparks, running west to the four-way stop intersection of Lazelle and Eby.

While that project is getting underway, consulting company Golder has completed a detailed examination of the shifting portions of Lanfear Hill and is now preparing the design for the work needed to stabalize the hill.

“We will need a couple weeks to put together a complete design package before the reconstruction gets underway. A contractor has not been determined. The best estimate for construction would be late July,” said city communications officer Kate Lautens.

Shifting portions of the narrow pedestrian path up the hill in early spring has caused the city to close the hill to pedestrian traffic, preferring that closure to converting the roadway to a one-way for vehicles and a wider portion for cyclists and pedestrians.

City council then set aside $360,000 in the expectation that will be the cost to beef up the pedestrian portion, something that its consultants have said will be sufficient for up to five years.

Late July has also been set as the target date for construction on another hill route up to the bench that has been giving the city problems.

In January it close a portion of the Birch Hill road to one-way after cracks began appearing in the asphalt surface, leading to worries ground there was shifting as well.

Lautens said consultant Tetra Tech has finished its field investigations into what’s needed and has prepared a project design.

“Upon review, our consultant will tender this project for construction,” she said of the work which the city expects to cost $300,000.

And a fourth substantial project, one that would complete the Grand Trunk Pathway trail to the Kalum River Bridge on the western edge of the city, should get underway by late August.

This would lead off from where the pathway now ends at the intersection of Frank St. and Hwy16 but would be built on the north side of the highway and not on the south side.

That’s because extending along the north side of the highway is less complicated and would be less costly than continuing along the south side because of the close proximity of the CN rail line.

“We have received design drawings from our consultant and are wrapping up our internal final review. Pending tasks include a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure review and review with the property owners,” said Lautens.

“After these steps are complete, the consultant will bring the drawings to issue for tender and produce updated cost estimates.”

So far the city has set a figure of just under $1 million for the project and the money is coming from two outside sources —$498,654 from a federal government program in which it sends local governments gas tax revenue it has collected and $500,000 from a provincial government program aimed at improvements for pedestrians and cyclists.

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