December 20th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 51
A new look for downtown Coleman
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Archive photo
Downtown Coleman.
Pass Herald Reporter
An open house scheduled for January 4, 2018 will present the municipality’s plans for a project to revitalize downtown Coleman, both on the surface, and under it.

The $3.75 million project will replace underground infrastructure in need of repair, including road curbs, wastewater drains, storm pipes and road gutters. The project limits are 17 Avenue between 76 and 79 Street and 77 Street between 17 and 19 Avenue.

But apart from a deep infrastructure replacement, the municipality decided to take advantage of the road closures and construction already happening to visually spruce up the downtown core.

“Coleman is becoming a bit of an artistic hub, so we want to promote that in the area,” says Patrick Thomas, Manager of Development, Engineering and Operations with the municipality. “The purpose of the open house is to get input from stakeholders on some concepts they’d like to see, particularly with streetscaping aspects of the project.”
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Poster boards with preliminary concepts will be displayed at the open house for people to learn about both the underground and above ground work. Thomas, along with members of Council and representatives from Stantec Consulting, the company hired to develop a tailored plan, will be present to answer questions and gather input from locals.

“We looked at how to beautify the streetscape, while at the same time realizing that it’s in a national historic designation area and has a lot of significance. We don’t want to lose aspects of that, but we want to revamp it, so we are trying to accommodate both of them as much as we can,” says Thomas.

According to Thomas, the municipality sees the potential for decorative street lighting, enhanced crosswalks, waste receptacles, bike racks, flower planters and nifty public art displays with the work of local artists. But which of these elements are actually incorporated depends on the input they receive at the open house.

The results and feedback from the open house will be posted on the municipal website.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2018 and, if everything goes according to schedule, should be completed by the end of summer 2018.
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Road closures will be necessary to complete the work and Thomas says they are working with affected business owners and residents to mitigate the inconvenience as much as possible.

“There are obvious disruptions that do come with construction and we are trying to get ahead of that. There will definitely be road closures because it’s a full reconstruction project, which will mean full sections of road closed at a time,” he says. “The consultants are working on how to stage the project so that it doesn’t hamper the construction, but also doesn’t shut down the entire community at one time.”

Thomas says that the downtown Coleman streetscaping project will potentially serve as a template to retrofit the other towns in the municipality later down the line.

The open house is scheduled for January 4 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 7801 18 Ave, Coleman.
December 20th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 51
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