Be prepared for traffic disruption on Victoria Avenue this summer, as major construction is planned between First and 18th streets.
Denise Jubenvill, regional technical services engineer with Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation, outlined the preliminary plans for the improvements at the city council meeting earlier this week.
"We’re going to replace the curb and gutter, as well as the medians," Jubenvill said. "This should result in improved drainage along the length of the project."
Pavement will be replaced along the 17 blocks of the province-owned Victoria Avenue, and sidewalk accessibility ramps will be added as well.
The major roadway sees 13,000 to 20,000 vehicles per day, Jubenvill told council.
"As you might imagine, traffic flow will be impeded during the construction," she said.
Minor improvements are planned for the intersections at Sixth Street and 13th Street. MIT will be lengthening the left-turn bays, which should improve the efficiency of the intersections, Jubenvill said.
The improvements will likely be welcome news to many Brandonites, as Victoria Avenue was voted the worst road in the province last year in CAA Manitoba’s Worst Roads campaign.
Out of 5,054 votes cast, Victoria Avenue took 835 of them.
"It did win that vote … and rightly so, because it was in such bad shape, and people get frustrated," said Coun. Garth Rice (South Centre), whose ward borders Victoria Avenue to the south.
Rice said the improvements are "long overdue."
"I’m … happy to see those improvements, because once completed they will add to a more convenient traffic flow," he said.
While there will likely be frustration over the disrupted traffic flow, Rice said it’ll be worth it in the long run — a smoother ride for drivers and easier on the vehicles.
Last summer, MIT repaved Victoria Avenue between 18th and 34th streets.
During this construction, the City of Brandon will also be replacing all required catch basins and associated drainage devices between First and 18th streets, and replace or upgrade all required water mains.
"The city’s underground work will be tendered with our contract and will still be administered and funded by the city," Jubenvill said.
During the city’s underground work, MIT expects detours will be put in place. During the milling, replacement of bituminous pavement, curbs and gutters, Jubenvill says they plan to maintain single-lane traffic in both directions.
"We’re particularly concerned about the eight one-way streets that are on the north side of Victoria Avenue and the effect that this construction will have on them," she said.
"Local traffic only" signs will likely be used on those streets, and Jubenvill said she expects the one-way streets will become temporary two-way streets during construction.
MIT will be holding an open house, at a date yet to be determined, to get the message out to the public about potential impacts the construction may have on their property.
"We’ll be contacting the affected residents, especially on the one-way streets, and advising them how they’ll be affected during the construction," Jubenvill said.
MIT has also been in consultation with the city’s parks department regarding the trees lining Victoria Avenue.
"We’re in the process of making a preliminary determination to see which trees are going to be negatively affected due to the construction activities," she said. "For every tree removed, a new tree will be planted. The goal, of course, is to minimize the amount of trees that have to be removed."
MIT plans to tender the project in April, with construction to happen over the summer season.
"But of course, timing is always dependent on contractor availability and the weather," Jubenvill said.