McMillan Street repaving done

Downtown Parksville traffic situation expected to improve

Mark Blasco

Mark Blasco

The ceremonial opening isn’t scheduled yet, but work is essentially complete on Parksville’s McMillan Street upgrade.

Standing on the corner as landscaping and final detail work is completed, city engineering technologist Fred Pakkala gets a lot of compliments and thumbs up from people enjoying the new sidewalks and safe crosswalk features.

“I’m really proud of this project,” he beamed, pointing out details like the new energy efficient LED lights and the medians at the crosswalks.

“People say it feels like it gets a lot narrower, which is what it’s supposed to do, but it’s actually the same width, he pointed out, explaining they are psychological elements to make people slow down and watch for pedestrians.

After the $3.1 million project was delayed while other traffic options were considered, the physical work started last fall and the major construction only took a couple months.

The short but crucial road has been upgraded to the city’s downtown road standard, including a new water main and storm sewers, moving wires underground and beautifying the streetscape and the safety improvements for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.

On budget and on schedule, new features include two pedestrian signals, bike lanes, trees, a traffic signal at Hirst Avenue and a sidewalk along the west side.