The rubber will soon hit the road as phase one of the Victoria Street West reconstruction project is expected to be completed by the middle of August.
All that remains to be done is the addition of a layer of asphalt and line painting on that section of road, located between Seymour Street/West Victoria Street and First Avenue/West Victoria Street — the stretch of road along the front of the B.C. Lottery Corporation headquarters.
After that — as soon as crews pave the dug-up portion of Seymour Street — traffic through stage one will return to normal, said Alistair Elliot, project manager for contractor Extreme Excavating.
On Friday, city staff toured reporters around the nearly completed section, which sports a new sidewalk and landscaping on the north side of the street, along with new water, sewer and electrical lines beneath.
Crews are replacing century-old water and sewer lines and moving power lines underground along West Victoria Street from First Avenue to Overlanders Bridge, while beautifying the corridor with new landscaping and wider sidewalks.
The entire project is making haste and the city anticipates all utility work and road paving for the four phases to be completed by late fall, when snow is expected, leaving some electrical work, tear-down of power lines and other minor items to do when the project resumes in the spring.
“Basically, all the digging will be done except for some minor landscaping and things like that,” said city CAO David Trawin, who stressed the forecast timeline is barring any unforeseen circumstances.
“If it [construction] continues the same way it has to date, then the contractor believes that he can have the pavement down by fall,” Trawin said.
Work will likely stop through the winter and traffic through the area returned to normal, but there may be some new detours come 2020 in order to finish the job, Trawin told KTW.
Based on past projects, the city initially expected to still be digging up the road next spring — having pegged the project timeline at between 18 months and two years from its April start date.
New project management practices, including night shift work, has helped speed the project along.
Construction in each stage was scheduled to overlap with each other and utility work has already been getting started in stage three — the north end of West Victoria Street — and stage four, which stretches from the 300-block of the road to Overlanders Bridge.
Stage two — consisting of the south end of West Victoria Street — has been in full swing for a number of weeks.
Elliot said new water and sewer lines have been installed and about 75 per cent of shallow utility lines have already been put in place. Sidewalks will be installed in that phase in late August, he said.
Trawin said the city has been spending about $1 million per month on the $13-million project.