The city plans to finish the second phase of its Hall St. redevelopment project this summer.
The cost will be about $6 million — two-thirds paid by the federal and provincial governments, and one third by the city. The project will redo the section from Lake Street to the waterfront.
Most of the city’s $2,180,508 contribution, according to the public works director Colin Innes, will come from reserves that have already been set aside for necessary sewer, water, and storm water upgrades for the street. In other words, much of the work would have had to be done anyway and there was already a budget for it.
The above-ground improvements — park, lighting, landscaping, signage, seating, bollards, bike racks, decking, and more — are valued at about $350,000. Innes said some short-term borrowing will be done to cover part of that.
He said the city has been talking to business property owners along that part of Hall St. about the changes and their biggest concern is that construction might impede access to their businesses.
The other big issue, Innes says, is storm water.
The intersection of Hall and Front Streets acts as a catch basin during heavy rains, sometimes resulting in serious flooding. So Innes says those business at the corner are particularly keen to fix the storm water situation, but that is proving to be complex.
“We need to figure out how to get the pipes around the rail line, and around the utilities that are already in place,” he said, “and figure out whether they will affect the surface features.
“You would not notice this above ground,” he said, “but it is technically detailed below ground.”
There will still be a new three-way stop at Hall and Lakeside, with the entrance to the Prestige parking lot moved some distance east on Lakeside Drive. And there will be a waterfront park beside the Prestige.
Innes said the design of the street and intersections has not changed much, except in some technical details, from the one that was made public in December.
The plans were approved by council in December. Since then the city has been consulting with business owners in the vicinity, but there will be no public open house or formal feedback process before the plan goes to council for final approval later this month.
Innes said the project will go to tender in early May with with bids due in early June. The construction will happen in the summer through the fall, assuming council approves the plan.