Contractors with LB Paving were busy in Houston last week conducting compaction tests to ensure that the gravel and materials are completely settled and won’t cause issues in the future. Ongoing construction is taking place during the summer as part of the District’s downtown revitalization project. (District of Houston photo)

Council directs staff to apply for Phase Two of downtown revilitization

Houston is one step closer to getting funding for phase two of its Downtown revitalization project after council directed staff at their July 7 meeting to apply for project funding under the Rural and Northern Communities Funding Stream of the “Investing in Canada” Infrastructure Program.

The District is currently completing Phase 1 of the Downtown Revitalization Project, consisting of water main replacement, sewer main repairs, road reconstruction, and streetscape improvements along 9th Street and the alleyway immediately north of 9th Street, to the tune of $4.9 Million.

The project also includes the construction of street lighting bases, sidewalk, curb, gutter, and drainage connections as part of the Highway 16 Improvement Project.

In his report to staff Chief Administrative Officer Gerald Pinchbeck said that, while 10th Street and 11th Street were reviewed and a conceptual plan drafted, the District deferred pursuit of this conceptual and detailed design in order to focus on the completion of Phase 1.

“A Class C cost estimate provided to the District on January 17, 2020 from Urban Systems based on the draft concept design scopes the remainder of the Downtown Revitalization Project at $12.841 Million, including a 20% allowance for Engineering & Professional Service fees and a 30% contingency allowance,” he added.

In the end council voted to authorize staff to apply for an investing in Canada Infrastructure grant for funding of Phase 2 of the downtown revitalization.

If approved the upgrades would see a number of fundamental differences to Houston’s downtown infrastructure, including a new sidewalk constructed on the south-side of the street from Copeland Ave. to Poulton Ave.

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