Around 50 people attended an open house in Parksville about work on McMillan Street.
“People were interested in finding out about the improvements and how they may benefit them,” said manager of engineering Vaughn Figueira.
He said most of the people who attended lived in the immediate area and the comments were generally positive with people looking forward to the finished results, though some were concerned about the construction disruptions.
He said there is wording in the tender documents — and they have already had discussions with the contractor — about local traffic and pointed to the concerns of one resident who crosses the street daily in a wheelchair.
He said they will do what they can including extra signs, flag people and considering the timing of work during peak traffic periods, to facilitate movement, especially for people with mobility issues.
Preliminary work has started and the bigger work is expected to start within a week with the bulk of it being done before the dead of winter, with a pause for the weather before they can pave early next spring.
The work includes widening and upgrading of 300 metres of McMillan from Highway 19A, south up the hill through the Hirst Avenue intersection, with safety improvements, bike lanes and aesthetic enhancements including putting utility lines underground.
There will be two pedestrian signals, wide sidewalks and a new traffic signal at Hirst Avenue.