Town staff say phase one of the Memorial Avenue upgrades in Qualicum Beach will be done by the end of the year.

Town staff say phase one of the Memorial Avenue upgrades in Qualicum Beach will be done by the end of the year.

Qualicum Beach town staff says phase one of Memorial Avenue upgrades will be completed by the end of 2016

The contract was delayed for a time but back on schedule, says town engineer

Although conflicts have delayed the Memorial Avenue upgrades, the project will be back on schedule by the end of the week.

At Monday’s town council meeting, director of engineering Bob Weir said phase one of the Memorial Avenue upgrades will be completed by the end of the year.

“We hope to get phase two well under way this year, although it is assumed that some of it will carry on (to next year),” Weir said.

The second phase consists of re-alignment and improvement of the intersections at Memorial Avenue and Crescent Road as well as Memorial Avenue and Village Way.

Weir said that the contractor was delayed with buried lines, but he added that the project would be back on schedule by the end of the week.

As for expenses for the project, Weir said so far they have spent about one-third of the allotted budget.

“But we are actually ahead of that in amount of work done,” Weir said. “The payment items are skewed by the fact that late in the project is the paving, which is a very expensive item, kind of skews the payment toward the end of the project.”

In February, the town received $600,000 from the federal Gas Tax Fund to support upgrades to Memorial Avenue. The town is contributing $1,250,000 in taxpayer funds to the project which is financed by the town through utility reserves and general revenue.

The upgrades are in response to challenges such as a deficient storm utility that overloads the fish-bearing Beach Creek with polluted downtown runoff in periods of high intensity rain, lack of safe and usable pedestrian and cycling route between downtown Qualicum Beach and the waterfront, high crash statistics from a poor intersection design and the threat of water and erosion damage to public and private infrastructure and key tourism resources.

The next regular council meeting is Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. There is also a committee of the whole meeting on Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre regarding the Waterfront Master Plan.