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Seventh Avenue reopens following lengthy construction

A view of a few of the above-ground improvements to 7th Avenue in front of City Hall. In addition to the recently paved road, these include the installation of a new concrete frontage and bollards at Veterans Plaza in front of the Cenotaph. City of Prince George photo
A view of a few of the above-ground improvements to 7th Avenue in front of City Hall. In addition to the recently paved road, these include the installation of a new concrete frontage and bollards at Veterans Plaza in front of the Cenotaph. City of Prince George photo

Paving is complete and a section of Seventh Avenue in front of City Hall has reopened revealing an enhanced streetscape, which will improve walkability in the downtown area.

Over the weekend, contracted crews working for the City of Prince George repaved a section of road from the entrance to City Hall to the intersection with Sixth Avenue and George Street, which has been closed to traffic since late last year.

During the course of the project, crews have replaced, repaired, or removed old underground utilities and other infrastructure and installed additional new features both above and below ground. The operation is related to the construction of a new city parkade and the Park House condominium development across from City Hall. The city also used the opportunity to improve the street front along Seventh Avenue in City Hall and Veterans Plaza.

Working with local contractors, the city has replaced and rerouted the storm drainage system, and upgraded and rerouted the sanitary sewer. In fact, as part other project an entirely new sewer line was installed across Queensway and along Lower Patricia to provide the increased capacity that is critical for further growth downtown.

The operation has included:

  • The installation of a new watermain, including the relocation of service connections to existing buildings;
  • Constructing a wider sidewalk on the north side of Seventh Avenue and a new sidewalk on the south side;
  • Installing irrigation to the new planters in front of City Hall;
  • Planting new trees on the north side of 7th Avenue;
  • Constructing a new frontage for the Cenotaph at Veterans Plaza;
  • Installing a new curb and gutter on 7th Avenue and on all four corners of the intersection of 6th and 7th Avenue and George Street and;
  • Installation of bollards along the front of the Cenotaph.

Construction has involved weaving new infrastructure through existing pipes, the Downtown Renewable Energy System, and services from other utilities such as TELUS, Fortis, and BC Hydro. In all cases, services had to be maintained while work was underway. Crews also removed decommissioned infrastructure that still remained underground, including the remnants of an old wooden pipe used to distribute water many years ago.

The excavation along Seventh Avenue has also provided the opportunity to replace an old watermain in front of City Hall. Made of cast iron pipe and about 60 years old, this watermain had been rated by the city as “very high risk” for failure.

“Council is very excited to see this scenic and historic downtown road re-opened, and we are pleased that the construction was used as an opportunity to upgrade and replace deteriorating infrastructure,” said Mayor Lyn Hall, in a news release. “Along with the new city parkade, Park House Condominiums, and the other exciting upcoming developments on George Street such the recently announced Primex Properties condos, this new streetscape promises to increase walkability, beautify our city, and enhance this wonderful public gathering place for the increased enjoyment of residents and visitors.”

Workers still have some work left to do this year involving the addition of a new planter and concrete to complete the frontage on the northwest and southwest corners of the intersection of Sixth and Seventh Avenue and George Street. Later this fall, new street lights will be installed along Seventh Avenue. Next spring, a section of George Street and 6th Avenue near the Keg Restaurant will be closed temporarily to allow the city’s Downtown Renewable Energy System to be connected to the new parkade.

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