Work on upgrades are set to begin at Fernie’s Visitor Information Centre before the end of April 2022, with plans for works to be completed before the summer rush.
The car-park at the VIC is set to be completely re-done in order to increase capacity, add charging spots for electric vehicles, and change the traffic flow to make the congested area safer as part of a $160k project.
As the trail head for the Fairy Creek trails, the VIC car-park is well used in summer months.
An item of contention when the plans were revealed was the removal of the sani-dump, which currently occupies space at the VIC car-park. The sani-dump is well used over summer, with lineups of RVs and trailers overflowing to the highway at peak times.
The sani-dump, which closes over winter, will not re-open for summer 2022, with works on the car-park set to see it deleted completely.
According to City of Fernie staff, they were working on an interim solution for users for the coming summer, given the popularity of the existing amenity.
“Our goal is to have an interim option available for 2022 summer, and we are currently connecting with all operators with Sani Dumps to confirm availability and rates so we can provide alternatives to locals and visitors,” said Chief Administrative Officer with the city, Michael Boronowski.
Details on the temporary location are yet to be released. Boronowski said that for now, the city would be focused on seeing the upgrades at the VIC carried out, and the interim sani-dump location. A more permanent location is yet to be planned.
The VIC car park upgrade is one of a suite of changes to the VIC area – the city also awarded a $342k contract for new signage and way-finding around town, with the ‘welcome’ sign facing Hwy. 3 set to be replaced at a cost of $75,000.
The final design for the new sign is yet to be settled on, but it will be designed, built and installed before the end of 2022, along with other items under the signage contract.