Kelowna’s Bernard Avenue revitalization ahead of schedule

City's $14 million downtown road project could see its second phase wrapped up by this weekend, a month earlier than planned.

Two down, one to go.

The second phase of the revitalization of Kelowna’s main downtown street, Bernard Avenue, is expected to wrap up either late this week of early next week, more than a month ahead of schedule.

With only road line painting still to be done, the re-opening of the stretch from Abbott Street to Pandosy Street is dependent on the weather, say city officials.

If the rain holds off long enough for crews to paint the lines on the road, vehicles could be driving on the lower stretch of the revamped Bernard Avenue by the weekend.

And while that will make pedestrians, drivers and business owners in the area very happy, it is also welcome news for the company doing the work.

Vernon-based CGL Contracting Ltd was awarded an $11 million contract to do the bulk of the work on the $14 million project and it calls for a $150,000 bonus if the company completed the second phase of three-phase project before the end of May because it was considered the largest and most difficult  phase and the area where the city wanted re-opened to the public as quickly as possible. The contractor has until June 30 to complete the second phase of the revitalization work.

The third phase, from Pandosy Street to St. Paul Street, is scheduled to start just after Labour Day and be complete by the end of November. The first phase, from Richter Street to St. Paul was completed last fall.

The revitalization project includes repair and replacement of utilities under the road surface, as well as repaving, new parking, wider sidewalks, improved lighting, landscaping and new street furniture and decoration all part of creating what City Hall says will be of a more “people-friendly” street.

Additional trees have been planted alongside the road and improvements are also being made to Kerry Park at the foot of Bernard.

The work is part of a major overhaul of the the downtown area, which will also see the construction of a new commercial dock nearby at the foot of Queensway and a new 120-metre long public walking pier just off Kerry Park.

Work has started on the commercial dock and components of the $5.1 million pier are currently being built at a temporary construction facility on the west side of the lake. When complete,the components will be floated into place on the Kelowna side and connected together.

Several small wooden buildings will be built as part of the dock/pier project, the first of which, a ticket booth for the commercial dock, is now up.

The company building the pier and dock, Edmonton-based Westcorp, will maintain and operate it for the next 15 years and plans to build a boutique hotel on the site of the former Willow Inn Hotel at the corner of Mill Street and Queensway across the street from Kerry Park.

Meanwhile, construction has already started on a large new Kelowna Yacht Club facility down the road on the former site of the Water Street Senior’s Centre across from the Kelonwa Community Theatre. Once that building is up and running, the city plans to demolish the existing yacht club building and expand Jim Stuart Park.














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