The revitalization of a section of Main Street in Downtown North Bay is moving forward.
Council awarded the $8.8 million construction tender on Tuesday night.
The project is about $2 million more than the original estimate, which Mayor Peter Chirico says dates as far back as 2018.
He also noted the project was deferred for about a year after a request from downtown businesses to the previous council for added recovery time after COVID-related impacts.
“Unfortunately during that time we also experienced some of the highest inflation rates that we have had in the last 40 to 50 years, which have led to higher gas prices, just about everything,” he says. “There are some explanations behind that.”
Funds will be used from a couple of capital-related reserve accounts to make up the difference.
Chirico fully supports the project.
“It’s going to do some wonders for our downtown and our waterfront,” he says. “All of the things that we’re trying to revitalize and to make it a more people-friendly place and encourage additional development in our downtown core.”
He says that should help eliminate perceived or actual safety concerns in the area.
“[It] will get people back to our downtown, make it a people place and certainly this is a first step towards that,” Chirico says.
Some councillors, including Mark King, say communication with the businesses is key.
“There were certain circumstances that took place, especially on Fisher Street during that construction where it created major problems and I just hope we’ve learned our lesson through those,” he says.
King says it’s important that businesses know what’s happening on any given day.
The project involves the areas of Main Street between Cassells Street and Sherbrooke Street along with Ferguson Street between Main Street and Oak Street
Work includes the reconstruction of surface infrastructure, including curb and gutter, asphalt road paving, concrete sidewalk, decorative concrete sidewalk and more.
Renderings and drawings are available online at https://www.northbay.ca/projects/main-street-revitalization/.