February 06, 2014 - 3:09 PM
PENTICTON — The City of Penticton has awarded the Downtown Penticton Westminster-Martin Street revitalization project construction tender to Grizzly Excavating Ltd. at a special meeting of Council today (Thursday).
The Penticton-based contractor submitted the successful bid with the lowest price for conducting the work. The contract award is within the $1.25 million project budget for two blocks of Westminster Avenue and the 200 block of Martin Street – which will create a western gateway into Downtown Penticton for visitors coming from destinations like the waterfront and Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.
“History shows when we invest in Downtown Penticton, the entire community thrives. Everyone’s lives are touched by the commercial heart of our city,” said Mayor Garry Litke. “Today all the planning now evolves into investment, and we cannot wait for the work to begin and showcase the vibrant spirit on Westminster Avenue and Martin Street.”
The project plan calls for new sidewalks, new lamp standards, energy-efficient lighting, banners, flower baskets, irrigation and street furniture along all three blocks. Along Martin Street, water infrastructure and connections to businesses will be improved and asphalt along the road will be replaced as well.
Construction is anticipated to begin once weather permits, likely in a few weeks. Two-way traffic will continue on Westminster Avenue throughout the project, and Martin Street will have one lane open for traffic throughout the majority of the project. Parking meters in the 300 block of Martin Street will be bagged during the project, allowing customers convenient parking options close to their destination. The public is asked to be mindful of signage and barriers in the area.
"This is an exciting step for a revitalized Downtown Penticton,” said Barb Haynes, Chair of the Downtown Revitalization Select Committee. “The community as a whole contributed a great deal to the Downtown Plan, which outlines the vision for our commercial core. Awarding the contract is an important milestone in achieving that vision.”
Pedestrian access to businesses will remain open through the project. City staff and the contractor will be working closely with area businesses and residents to ensure they are notified of events and impacts are mitigated as much as possible. The City and Downtown Penticton Association are also collaborating to promote Westminster-Martin businesses as much as possible, with online links at www.penticton.ca/downtown and www.downtownpenticton.org for people to learn about deals and promotions ongoing with affected businesses.
“Downtown merchants are excited about what this revitalization project means for their business. Project plans for flexible spaces, storefront uses and an environment that’s more pedestrian friendly is a recipe for success for those businesses,” said Kerri Milton, Executive Director of the Downtown Penticton Association.
A construction open house will be held for the public in the coming weeks. Anyone interested in how the work will be conducted, and particularly those who live or operate businesses in the affected areas, are welcome to meet the contractor, hear an overview of the project plan, learn about timelines and ask questions about the process. Open house details will be announced next week. Property owners and tenants will be contacted shortly with specific information pertaining to the construction project.
The Downtown Penticton revitalization project falls under the Vibrant Penticton banner, which has the vision of “Penticton – a vibrant, innovative, adventurous waterfront City focused on sustainability, community and economic opportunity.” Penticton Council chose two strategic priorities to achieve this vision, including Downtown revitalization and Waterfront enhancement.
Project updates with construction progress will be available on the City's website at www.penticton.ca/downtown.
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