Columbia project underway

The results are in, the decisions have been made and the Columbia Washington project is underway in Rossland.

This is the first installment of a weekly update column courtesy of Coun. Jody Blomme, a member of the city’s Columbia Task Force.

The results are in, the decisions have been made and the Columbia Washington project is underway.

The City of Rossland’s share of the total project is expected to be $4.7M. The Ministry of Transportation (MoT) will be contributing $1.3M.

Parallel Parking has been removed from the project.

The project involves replacing underground infrastructure that is past its life span, on Columbia Avenue from St. Paul to Spokane. Washington Street upgrades will also be done from Columbia Ave to 1st Ave.

Sidewalks will be replaced along the entire project length and will include “bulb outs” at the intersections along Columbia Ave. The “bulb outs” are designed to slow traffic as well as demarcate crosswalks for pedestrian safety. Traffic calming measures were required by the MoT. The “bulb outs” are an aesthetic alternative to large overhead crosswalk signage, and will allow for the maintaining of angle parking and enhance the look of downtown.

The removal of parallel parking from the design resulted in the deletion of much of the furnishings from the north side of Columbia. The deletion of parallel parking will result in approximately $100K in cost savings.

The potential property tax implications will be approximately $170 per $300K of assessed value for 5 years. The actual change to property taxes will be determined in the 2013 Budget.

The contractor, Copcan, are very experienced in this type of project. Copcan are very aware of the importance of having as little disruption as possible and will be working outside of business hours when feasible. Construction hours will generally be 7am to 5pm Monday to Saturday. The City is looking forward to working with Copcan.

The City has formed a Communication Task Force to co-ordinate the dissemination of information on the project and the construction schedules. The goal is to provide timely information to the public as the project proceeds. There will be drop letters, notices in the newspapers, ads on Bhubble, and up-to-date information on the City’s website.

There is also a direct contact phone number for enquiries at 250-512-1641 and an email address at columbiaproject@rossland.ca

The city is upgrading the parking lot behind Rossland Hardware, to be completed May 17th. This will provide convenient parking during construction and in the future.

There will be some issues to be aware of during construction.

The work will cause dust. The contractor is very aware of the need to keep dust under control and every effort will be made to limit its impact.

Construction of this nature is inherently noisy.

There will be temporary water disruptions. Plenty of notice will be given and, when possible, work will be done after business hours. There is, however, the possibility of unscheduled disruptions.

There may be increased traffic in some areas. In particular, Thompson Ave and 1st Ave may see an increase, so there will be additional signage in these areas. We encourage everyone to respect the speed limits. Do not be surprised if you see Constable Joe watching closely.

It is very important to maintain a safe workplace and it is imperative that areas posted “No Parking” be respected at all times. The work zones will be localized and move along as work in one zone is completed. The Ministry of Transportation requires that two-way traffic be maintained on Columbia at all times. Single lane alternating traffic may occur on occasion.

Monday, May 14th, will be the beginning of major works. Excavation at St. Paul and Columbia will begin Tuesday the 15th. This section of work will be the most onerous as the pipe replacement requires a 12ft deep trench.

We regret that there will be disruptions during the construction. Every effort will be made to limit inconveniences. Rossland will continue to be “Open for Business” throughout the project. The goal is to have the project completed by the end of October this year.

Please feel free to voice concerns, comments, opinions and ideas at 250-512-1641 or at columbiaproject@rossland.ca.

The City of Rossland thanks everyone for their patience and understanding during this vital infrastructure project.

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