The Annex will be getting a face-lift this summer, with Fernie council committing more than $5 million to improving Ninth Avenue.
The department of financial and computer services announced at the April 11 council meeting that the City would be committing $5.7 million of the 2011-1015 Financial Plan to the reconstruction of Ninth Avenue.
The reconstruction project will include the addition of a sidewalk on the east side of the road, improvements to storm water management, and new water and sewer infrastructure.
There are currently no sidewalks in the annex and storm water drainage is often a major issue for those living in the neighbourhood.
The sidewalk will be set back from the roadway to improve safety and provide an opportunity for operations crews to clear snow in the winter.
The City is also going to improve water drainage by enhancing the permeability of the shoulders. Storm water would be able to drain into the shoulders of the roadway during light rains and the grade of the road would direct water to the storm drain in the event of major rain.
The design being used for the reconstruction is intended to further the City’s goals for sustainability and environmental protection.
The reconstruction will include bioswales, landscaped elements designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water. At the intersections of Seventh, Ninth, 13th and 14th Streets there will be bioswales that will connect to a storm system that runs directly to the Elk River.
The bioswales will include plants that are native to the area, salt and drought tolerant, and low maintenance, and are intended to act as a filter to clean water runoff from the road before it enters the Elk River.
The City is entering the tender period for the reconstruction of the Ninth Avenue corridor.
A contractor will be selected at the end of the process, with construction anticipated to begin in May and finish by October 2011.
The City’s plan did not state how much disruption there would be for those living in the annex but in a letter to residents, Dave Cockwell, director of operational services, said, “As you can imagine road reconstruction can be inconvenient and frustrating for residents living in the construction zone.
“We will endeavour to keep this disruption to a minimum but your patience and cooperation during this work period will be much appreciated.”
For more information on the reconstruction of Ninth Avenue contact city hall at 250-423-6817.