The second year of McKernan’s neighbourhood renewal is on track to finish in the fall, weather permitting, says Jason Caudron, City project manager.
In particular, 76 Ave from 112 to 114 St. should be opened for the first week of school, allowing at least some access for school traffic. The remainder of the avenue to 109 St., including the separated bike infrastructure, is targeted to be complete by the end of September. The rest of the neighbourhood should be done by mid to late October.
While some road sections are in good shape and can be completed by grinding the old asphalt and overlaying it, other sections have needed significantly more sub-surface work, says Caudron. These will need to be closed entirely as they are excavated and the subgrade rebuilt. Sections of both 110 and 112 Streets between 77 and 78 Ave., for example, will require such work. Pedestrian access will be maintained as the sidewalk will be completed first; cyclists will be able to walk their bikes on the short sidewalk section to continue their ride past the closure.
The western section of McKernan is being done in conjunction with Belgravia’s renewal and is on a similar timeline. One interesting feature is that University Ave. from 112 to 114 St. has been surfaced again with concrete instead of asphalt — making this section one of the most expensive in the city, according to Caudron. The reason? The presence underground of a high-pressure gas line, running along the north side of the avenue, means asphalt cannot be installed there.
While the central medians have been removed on University Ave east to 109 St., these will be reinstalled with some modifications after the avenue is reconstructed. The medians were installed 20 years ago to reduce serious shortcutting from motorists looking to avoid congestion on main roads.
New sidewalk sections are also being constructed on some streets, which should improve pedestrian access to the community.
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