The Downtown Rehabilitation and Streetscapes Project is a multi-phase initiative designed to enhance the downtown core by updating aging underground and above-ground infrastructure and creating a more modern and vibrant neighbourhood.
The project is a response to existing and future growth in the city as well as citizen demand for an updated downtown area that is more reflective of our community and culture. The underground work opens up the possibility for higher-density development in the future, and the new streetscapes will provide a modern, urban feel to the downtown core.
Phases 1 and 2 were constructed from 2016-2017.
Phase 3 construction was completed in October of 2018.
Phase 4 will be constructed in 2021.
Phase 1: North of CN rail tracks on 101 Street to north of 102 Avenue
Phase 2: 101 Avenue from the Golden Age Centre to 100 Street
Phase 3: 100 Avenue from 102 Street to 100 Street
Phase 4 : 100 Avenue from west of 100 Street to 98 Street
All downtown businesses remain open throughout the project. The City encourages all residents and visitors to continue to shop, eat and play downtown to support local vendors.
Alternative vehicle and pedestrian access to businesses is being facilitated by a combination of detours, protected sidewalks and rear entrances.
The roadways will remain closed to vehicles for the majority of construction; signed detours will be available.
Parking restrictions are expected to change throughout construction and will be communicated accordingly as the project progresses. Watch for potential pedestrian and vehicle detours around the construction site and obey re-routing signs and flaggers.
All downtown businesses will remain accessible to pedestrians, but may require alternative access points or temporary sidewalks.
The new sidewalks are designed to enhance the pedestrian experience and increase safety and walkability in the area. These factors were two of the major urban design recommendations provided from Council and residents. Based off of the Complete Streets Model of Canada, the new design works to accommodate users of all abilities and modes of transportation. The new bump-outs at the intersections increase safety by reducing crossing distance, creating higher visibility and increasing sight lines for vehicles.
The Downtown Rehabilitation and Streetscapes Project is significant in terms of cost and impact. It means a major improvement to one of the oldest and most important areas of our city. This project upgrades large sections of outdated infrastructure, (sewer, water and storm lines), which are currently in poor condition or beyond their serviceable life. Above-ground improvements and streetscapes are also planned. All of these elements are designed to make the downtown more urban, modern, unique, attractive, walkable, cultural and active.
The goal of the project is to revitalize the downtown into a vibrant core that reflects the culture of Grande Prairie, while supporting growth, promoting higher-density development, facilitating year-round activity and fostering civic pride.
Underground: New and over-sized water and sanitary lines, new storm sewer infrastructure as well as the installation of soil cell structures.
Above-ground: Improved roadways and sidewalks, trees, lighting, benches, and other attractive features.
The above listed changes have been completed along 101 Street from the CN Rail Line to north of 102 Avenue, along 101 Avenue from 102 Street to 100 Street, and along 100 Avenue from 102 Street to 100 Street.
The City of Grande Prairie has been dedicated to including citizen input in the planning process of the Downtown Rehabilitation and Streetscapes Project. A survey was issued to residents in 2015 as part of the Planning Study which forms the basis of this project. Two open houses were held in early 2016 for residents and business owners to ask questions and provide feedback.
The top priorities residents identified as part of the planning stage are safety, convenience and walkability of downtown. Key themes for the area were identified as commercial businesses, urban design and transportation. A shared festival streetscape option was voted as most popular (101 Avenue).
Members of the public and business owners attended Coffee and Construction information sessions throughout 2016 and 2017. Additionally, two open houses occurred in July and September of 2017 to gain public feedback on the construction design for Phases 3 and 4.
The City is working directly with the DownTown Association and City representatives meet routinely with businesses located downtown to discuss the project.
Phases 1 and 2 of this project were largely made possible through $20 million in Provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding. Aquatera Utilities Inc. also invested in sewer and water system upgrades and replacements.
A tender for construction of Phase 1 and Phase 2 was awarded to Wapiti Gravel Suppliers. The tender for the project was approved on June 11, 2016 by City Council at a cost of $18,225,030.86.
In November, 2017 Council allocated $15 million for Phase 3 as part of their budgeting process.
In November 2019 Council allocated $14 million for Phase 4 through General Debentures.