An important milestone was accomplished and celebrated in belleville today.
Phase two of the “Build Belleville” is now complete.
It’s a multi-million dollar infrastructure improvement project in the downtown — split into different phases to minimize the impact on shoppers and businesses.
As Darryn Davis reports, many say the pain is worth the gain.
City politicians, officials and downtown merchants were all on hand to celebrate the completion of phase two of Belleville’s critical downtown infrastructure work.
“We did replace all the services to the buildings in the downtown so each building has new service to it upgraded which will also help with intensification efforts in the downtown. ”
Along with replacing a century old sewer and water system … the downtown core has better lighting and wider sidewalks, and new space for special events … all contributing to a more inviting look.
“This is a very positive story for belleville and for anybody looking to set up shop in belleville, to live here and enjoy what we already know it to be..is a wonderful community. ”
Dwane Barratt had construction in front of his business during the first phase of the “Build Belleville” project — and says it was a learning curve for both city staff and Corcoran construction… the same company doing the ‘big dig’ in Kingston.
“They’re almost like a small business. They’re very customer friendly, they bend over backwards and the city was very quick to react to our concerns when we did have them. ”
And those lessons were applied to the second phase — making for a smoother project this go around.
business owner Kathryn Brown says it was still difficult for downtown merchants … but she believes the end results are worth it.
“Our job now as retailers is to make it really interesting and invite them back and I think a lot of that is what you’re seeing here. The Christmas trees the lighting all of the things that we’re getting ready for santa to arrive.”
“The finishing touches are just being completed here on victoria street and then phase two will truly be completed and the city will then continue on with it’s planning for phase three. ”
The overall project is expected to cost 34 to 35 million dollars .. the third and final phase is expected to go to tender early next year.
“Phase three we’re looking to split into some work in 2017 and the remainder in 2018.”
And that increased capacity will put the city in a good position to promote intensification …. and draw 2 to 3 thousand residents into the downtown core.
Darryn Davis CKWS News Belleville.