Bernard upgrade’s 1st phase nearly done

After three months of work between Richter Street and St. Paul Street, the avenue will reopen Dec. 7 at 6 p.m.

The first phase of the $14-million revitalization project on Kelowna’s main downtown street, Bernard Avenue, will wrap up Friday.

After three months of work on the section between Richter Street and St. Paul Street, the avenue will reopen Dec. 7 at 6 p.m., according to the city.

“We are really pleased with the outcome,” said Bill Berry, Kelowna’s director of design and construction services.

“The first phase from Richter to St. Paul was completed on time, with the old utilities replaced, wider sidewalks, new trees, lighting and benches.”

Some remaining work may continue through December and next spring, including adding the public art components on the new gateway feature at Richter Street and other minor streetscape aesthetic improvements. Temporary ramps at crosswalks are now in place and will stay until a top lift paving is completed.

Final streetscaping work between St. Paul and Ellis streets are scheduled as part of the third and final phase of the project, which will begin next fall.

The second phase, from Abbott Street to Pandosy Street, will start in the spring and wrap up in June.

As a result of the recent work, the traffic pattern on Bernard Avenue has changed and a new temporary merging area is now present at St. Paul, where Bernard Avenue narrows to two lanes from four.

Parking between Richter and St. Paul is also now parallel parking only. The city is urging motorists to drive carefully and be aware of all signs, particularly at St. Paul and Richter.

In January, storm drainage improvements at Kerry Park will begin as part of the project.

Depending on the weather, the second phase of the revitalization project—from Abbott Street to Pandosy Street—is expected to start in February and run until June.

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