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Shovels in the ground on Hall Street as work on Downtown Revitalization Project begins

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
April 22nd, 2015

The Hall Street corridor is beginning to look more like the National Heavy Equipment Show than a quiet City of Nelson street now that the Stores to Shores Downtown Revitalization Project has officially kicked into high gear.

“It’s such an exciting and important time for Nelson and for all the people who’ve worked so hard to bring this project from concept to kick-off, it’s even a little emotional — in a great way, “ said Nelson Mayor Deb Kozak in a media statement.

“We’re writing a brand new 21st century chapter in our City’s history.”

This project, the first of its kind since the 1980’s revitalization of Baker Street, addresses many of the key recommendations made in the City’s blueprint for future development, the Sustainable Waterfront and Downtown Master Plan (SWDMP).

“This project means a lot to our company,” said Terry Maglio of Maglio Installations, the winning bidder of the eight-month project.

“It’s great to be working in our hometown, that important to our crew. Plus, the project is going to leave a great legacy for the City, which has been home to my family for over 90 years.”

Work was started in the 300 Block of Hall Street by City Public Works staff last week. Crews dug up pavement on the steep hill in preparation fore the relocation of some of the shallower infrastructure on the street — Telus and Shaw communications lines.

This is required in order to improve sight lines and safety at the Hall and Vernon intersection.

Previously, site survey work was completed in the 300, 400 and 500 Blocks of Hall Street.

Monday, Maglio Installations workers began demolition of the rock walls of the IODE Park.

Underground utility work is scheduled for the 500 block the following week, with additional below-grade work to begin on the 400 block within the next two weeks.
“There’s going to be a considerable amount of work happening right off the bat,” said Colin Innes, the City’s Director, Public Works and Utilities. “We’ll be going full tilt.”
Innes said work on IODE Park is slated to end in time for the May long weekend, starting May 17.
For July, August and September, construction efforts will then move back to the 300 block and the intersection of Hall and Vernon Street. The 300 block will be closed to traffic during that time.  
Innes is assuring business owners, motorists and pedestrians that the intersections of either Hall/Vernon or Hall/Baker will be open at all times — one of the construction contract’s stipulations is that the two important crossroads can’t be closed at the same time.

That will ensure traffic flow to the eastern end of the downtown core will be maintained.
Mayor Kozak says she wants businesses and residents on and around Hall Street, the east end of Baker and Vernon to know the City is committed to assisting them through the Stores to Shores overhaul.
“City staff and council will be working with our business owners and residents to ensure customer traffic and access to their stores and homes is well-maintained straight through the construction period,” says Kozak.
Here’s what’s happening on the public and business information front:

  •  A promotions and business-awareness program slated to start next week will see a dozen or more informative and colourful signs placed in and around the Hall, east Baker/Vernon area, aimed at ensuring the public knows that while the road may be closed, businesses are open.
  •  An information rack card has been designed for local businesses’ front counters. The cards will outline details and benefits of the Stores to Shores program and info contacts, for locals and visitors alike.
  •  There’ll be a round of how-to marketing tips for businesses to implement to ensure customer traffic is steady during the project’s duration too.
  •  Weekly updates on progress and traffic changes will be provided at Facebook/storestoshores, the City’s website, along with profiles on Hall Street businesses, the thoroughfare’s history and a series of in-depth looks at the thoughtful and beneficial design aspects that the revitalization will provide to Nelson for decades to come.

“We’re doing all we can to keep Hall Street business hopping, and to tell the street’s tale. It’s played a very important role in Nelson, for over a century,” said Mayor Kozak.

The Hall Street project, combined with the construction of the Nelson Commons building one block to the east, means traffic may be slowed considerably due to trucks and machinery entering and leaving streets surrounding the two projects.
Kozak said more than 60 percent of the project’s budget  — including water and sewer lines, electrical and fibre-optic, new pavement, sidewalks and stairways — will be allocated to required infrastructure upgrades, the other third will go towards the Stores to Shores vision.

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