The area around City Hall is going to get a make over. What is there now is getting worn out. The city’s infrastructure branch plans on sprucing things up in 2018, around the same time the Valley Line LRT is going in at the south end of Churchill Square.
The rose coloured paving tiles with the painted semi-circles are breaking more and more with wear and tear. A recent estimate saw 300 of them replaced annually. “We know that that these tiles and this surface is reaching the end of its life cycle,” agreed Corinne Bishop a project co-ordinator with the city’s infrastructure branch. “So we are continuing to replace more and more every year.”
The goal is to dig down and start over because what’s under the surface has been ravaged by freeze and thaw cycles since 1992.
With that in mind the plan is to resurface City Hall Plaza, 102-a Ave, and Churchill Square, and make it all one continuous surface. “We’re looking at integrating it so the tiling will be continuous through out the City Hall plaza and Churchill square but it will act and be able to support being a road, but not be a road anymore,” Bishop said.
“There’s no major plan for renewal at this time. It’s mostly about rehabilitation of what we have and continue to use it in the same way that we do now.”
“We’re looking at maintaining the trees that are there but putting them into an environment that they can grow better. We want to maintain and increase the tree canopy in the civic centre but we want to make sure that the trees that we do put in have a chance to survive.”
“We hope to have a concept plan by the end of this year. We’re moving into detailed design, working out the details in 2017 and we’re looking at coordinating with the Valley Line LRT construction in 2018 that would be on site to do this work.”
Council last looked at the plan in 2013, but rejected it because of a $50 million price tag that included a lot more aspects to the project than this renewal. But Coun. Ed Gibbons remembers how expensive the one segment of raising 102-a Ave to get rid of the curb was.
“It was in the millions,” he said.
Council asked for this integration plan in 2015. It doesn’t have a budget yet, because the plans are in the early stages.