Over the past several months, the City of Selkirk, which has a population of about 10,000, has invested $7.2 million in rebuilding a seven-block section of its historic main street.
A press release described the reconstruction of Eveline Street as the largest single street rebuild in the city, which is a half-hour drive north of Winnipeg, in decades. It is a rebuild with many upsides.
The project began last spring with Manitoba Hydro removing overhead wires and putting them underground.
As J.R. Cousins Consulting’s Matt Fisher points out, the roadway was in poor condition with substandard lighting and lacking in accessibility.
“One of our challenges was to bring this section of Eveline Street up to current accessibility guidelines,” he says. “On the east side of the road, the area closest to the Red River, we built an active transportation pathway wide enough to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians.”
The project also included the installation of pedestrian peninsulas at intersections that give motorists a heads up that a crosswalk is ahead and reduces the distance walkers have to travel to get from one side of the street to the other, benefiting people with mobility issues and those pushing strollers or walking with young ones.
The wheelchair-bound can now easily travel from the street to the sidewalk which will be level with many businesses’ entranceways.
As well, new detectable tiles for improved safety for the visually impaired were installed.
For Fisher, however, the piece de resistance is the inclusion of Silva Cell installation for the landscaping portion of the project.
He points out the technology is a modular suspended pavement system that uses soil volumes to support large tree growth and provide stormwater management.
Each tree is planted in a box connected to an underground Silva Cell modular unit made from fiberglass-reinforced, chemically-coupled, impact-modified polypropylene with galvanized steel tubes.
The Silva Cell system has an estimated design life of approximately 100 years and are maintenance-free.
“This system enhances tree growth and greatly improves stormwater drainage,” Fisher reports.
The roadwork itself was carried out by Winnipeg-based JC Paving. Ltd.
The project was essentially finished by November, Fisher notes.
All that is left is some tree and flower planting which will be finalized in the spring.
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