The Municipality of North Cowichan is looking to partner with the City of Duncan for some major changes and upgrades to Canada Avenue.
At its meeting on Sept. 5, North Cowichan’s council decided to defer construction of the Canada Avenue southbound bike lane and Canada Avenue Friendship Trail from its 2018 roads, cycling and sidewalk program.
Instead of moving forward with those projects, the municipality hopes to partner with the City of Duncan to develop a complete street design on Canada Avenue from Evans Street to its terminus at the Sherman Road roundabout.
Council also asked staff to include $500,000, which was budgeted for the bike lane and friendship trail, in the 2019 budget for design of this project.
According to a staff report, the concept for the major upgrades will be based on “complete streets” designs that allow for safe travel by those walking, cycling, driving automobiles, riding public transportation and using mobility aids.
“Staff is proposing a multi-year initiative to develop a ‘complete street’ along a larger project area to address the completion of the Friendship Trail and facilitate future connections in the active transportation network,” the report stated.
“Design outcomes would include a widening of Canada Ave. and replacement and widening of the Holmes Creek bridges; an on-road protected bike way and sidewalk replacement; and the installation of crosswalks on James Street and other crossing improvements.”
If both the councils of Duncan and North Cowichan support the project, the design budget would be split between the two municipalities, and their staffs would hire planning and engineering specialists to develop a design and secure all approvals needed to seek grant and budget funding for construction, which would begin in 2020.
“Further spending may be required in subsequent phases once the design and budget are finalized,” the report said.
“Staff has reached out to discuss the project with Cowichan Tribes’ staff, who have indicated a desire to be kept informed.”