The redevelopment of Manitoba Avenue East into a pedestrian friendly destination for shopping, dining and entertainment is underway and the historic block will remain open to vehicle and pedestrian traffic during construction.
The contract was awarded to JC Paving and construction began July 8.
Selkirk city council adopted the Downtown Selkirk Renewal Strategy in 2016 and in June 2018 council adopted a concept design for Manitoba Avenue East (from Main Street to Eveline Street) and then applied for, and received, funding through the New Building Canada Plan from the federal and provincial governments to finalize and re-construct the new design.
Safer and more attractive
“These improvements in downtown Selkirk will make the area safer and more attractive for residents, business owners and visitors,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “Investing in public infrastructure is vital to creating livable communities while promoting local development and economic growth.”
Mayor Larry Johannson said it was exciting to see work on the redesign of Selkirk’s historic avenue get started.
“Manitoba Avenue East is the heart of our city and to see the equipment roll in and this vision that council and residents have had start to come into focus is really quite something,” Johannson said.
“We’ve worked with citizens and business owners all along and we’ll continue to work with them through the construction process. I’m really proud of this project, I’m proud of the city and I can hardly wait to see the finished product.”
Vibrant and pedestrian friendly
There are significant changes planned for Manitoba Avenue East, all with the goal of creating a vibrant downtown area that is both vehicle and pedestrian friendly.
Two of the biggest improvements will be Manitoba Avenue East will be converted from a one-way to a two-way street for vehicle traffic and angle parking will be replaced by parallel parking.
Through public consultation the city was able to address concerns over reduced parking spots through the switch from angle to parallel parking, and only five spots will be lost in the change over.
Open during construction
During construction half of the street will be closed and the other half open for eastbound vehicle traffic and parallel parking as well as pedestrians. When one side is completed, work will move to the other side and vehicle traffic, parking and pedestrians will be able to use the other side.
One side of Manitoba will be open to traffic throughout construction, with the exception of a one-day complete closure at the end of construction to apply the final asphalt cover for the street.
The city will continue to have conversations with business owners on Manitoba Avenue East during construction to discuss ways to manage and improve the cycling of parking spots.
The redevelopment of Manitoba Avenue East hits on almost all points in the city’s Strategic Plan, including Priority 1 – a vibrant, safe and healthy community, achieved through continued development of the city’s natural features and outdoor spaces and a revitalized downtown. Priority 2 of the Strategic Plan is a strong and stable local economy, which will be sustained by building on the city’s status as a regional service centre and building on Selkirk’s tourism potential.
Check MySelkirk.ca/MyDowntown for updates on Manitoba Avenue East construction or subscribe to automatically receive updates via e-mail.