The City of Parksville will launch the Memorial Avenue streetscape and utility upgrades project on May 7. - Karly Blats photo

Parksville’s Memorial Avenue streetscape and utility upgrades project set to launch

Aim is to maintain the historic street trees and enhance their health

The City of Parksville will launch the Memorial Avenue streetscape and utility upgrades project today (May 7).

Project contractor McElhanney Ltd. will plan, design and oversee construction upgrades to aging underground water and sanitary sewer lines along Memorial Avenue, as well as improvements to the streetscape with the aim to maintain the historic street trees and enhance their health. Parksville council directed McElhanney to adjust the engineering design to preserve the trees as needed.

Memorial Avenue and the trees that line the street have grown into an important living monument of civic participation and contribution. Known as one of Parkville’s most beautiful and historic streets, the 34, century-old elm trees that line the street were paid for by a local women’s organization to memorialize fallen veterans from around the Parksville area.

Preserving the trees and their legacy is a priority of the project.

The first step of the project is an arborist assessment of the trees to understand their condition and opportunities to enhance their health. Once the tree assessment is complete, a comprehensive public consultation process will engage the community to ensure stakeholder and citizen input is heard and considered prior to design and construction.

Public engagement will take a deeper look at what Memorial Avenue means to Parksville, develop a vision with design objectives for the streetscape, and work with stakeholders and citizens to create a streetscape design concept for Memorial Avenue using input collected through the engagement process. Engagement activities being planned include ‘walkshops’ and a community design workshop.

Information announcing these events will be released in the coming weeks and up-to-date project information will be provided on the city’s website. Questions about the project may be sent to memorialave@parksville.ca.

Prior to finalizing the streetscape design, a public event will be held to collect a final round of public input on the design options. The project schedule aims to have a completed streetscape design for fall 2019 along with an engagement report detailing the consultation process and the public input collected. Construction is anticipated to commence spring 2020.

— NEWS staff, submitted

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