VERNON - It's taken a decade, but by early next week, 30th Avenue will be fully revitalized. Construction work on the final phase between 33rd and 35th Streets is almost done, and the city expects the road will once again be open to motorists on Monday.
The project suffered only a minor delay due to heavy rainfall in June, and in total, the roadway has been under construction for about three months.
City of Vernon infrastructure engineer Mark Dowhaniuk is happy to see the $2.2 million project completed.
"We thank the business owners and the public for their patience," Dowhaniuk says. "They're all ready for this to be done."
Pedestrians will enjoy wider sidewalks, new street furniture and safer lighting, as well as upgraded infrastructure underfoot.
"I think it'll be a nicer environment for people to walk around in," Dowhaniuk says.
Downtown Vernon Association executive director Louise Delaney is thrilled about the improvements.
"I think it's great, it's gone seamlessly, and we're grateful there were no major snags," Delaney says.
In celebration of the completion, the DVA will be hosting a block party and ribbon cutting ceremony July 19th. There will be cake, live music, sidewalk sales and speeches by local politicians, including Mayor Rob Sawatzky and MLA Eric Foster.
"It's a chance for everyone to celebrate in unison throughout the day," Delaney says.
For events like this, streets are often closed off to cars to make room for the fun. But with the new enlarged sidewalks, Delaney says that's not necessary.
"Now we can offer more programs that will attract people downtown," Delaney says.
The festivities will start at noon on Friday, July 19th.
Please note this story was edited at 4:30 p.m. to say the road is expected to open Monday, not Saturday as previously printed. The construction has seen a small delay, which arose Thursday afternoon after this story was published.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.