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Construction on new Nelson transit exchange slated to begin late spring

Nelson’s transit exchange will soon be moving from its current location on Ward and Stanley to the 300 Block of Victoria Street, between Stanley and Kootenay.

BC Transit representatives Elise Wren and David Lenton provided Nelson City Councillors with an update on the transit exchange project during February’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

The project received funding for the construction of the exchange last May.

Wren said that 40 percent of the cost of the project is supported through the federal government’s Investing in Canada Infrastructure program (ICIP). The remaining 60 percent will be split 40-20 between the province and the City of Nelson.

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The latest design of the project reveals plans to install new bus shelters with under-roof lighting, a mid-block crosswalk, re-designed street lighting, bike racks, a new public restroom outside of the Library, and six inline bus bays.

Additionally, new concrete sidewalks will be laid on both sides of the street.

The new location for the exchange was identified as the best in the city based on connectivity with downtown, future transit growth, current traffic and parking needs, stated Wren.

However, she said there was pushback from local business owners and residents with concerns surrounding the loss of parking spaces. This resulted in additional engagement on the original design of the exchange, and the design modified to optimize parking availability in the area.

The finalized design of the project is still in the works, but both Wren and Lenton explained that they are trying to retain some on-street parking for locals and visitors while also allowing for the future expansion of the exchange.

“The project will include some areas on Kootenay and Stanley Street reorganized to try and maximize the quantity of parking that’s available within the area. Even though our actual project site is from Kootenay to Stanley, the areas to the west of Kootenay are opportunities for amendments to the on-street parking to allow for additional quantity,” said Lenton.

Additionally, the site of the current transit exchange will open up more available parking in the downtown core.

The next steps for the exchange are completing and submitting the finalized design for review by stakeholders and city officials. Then, in April, the project will be posted for construction tenders on BC Bid, with construction slated to start sometime in May or June.

Lenton says construction shouldn’t take more than 6 weeks, with completion scheduled for the end of July.

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