District approves 9th Street design

Stage now set for extensive project

The District of Houston council has approved a final design for its downtown beautification 9th Street project, setting the stage now for a final and detailed work plan leading to a construction start next year.

The final design was approved by the council Nov. 5 following an extensive series of concepts prepared by consultants Urban Systems and involving comment from merchants along the street.

This is actually a two-part project involving not only surface works but also a replacement of aging underground infrastructure.

Key to the design approved by council was an Oct. 23 public forum in which comments were gathered to incorporate common themes.

Those common themes included a median on the west end where 9th Street meets Hwy16, to have a mid-block crossing between City Furniture and Country Wide Printing and string lighting at crossings.

Not favourable was the idea of an east end median where 9th Street meets Butler and instead to have inviting features in its place.

The overall objective, aside from the need to replace old underground infrastructure such as water and sewer pipes and to improve drainage, is to construct a street that’s inviting to passersby on Hwy16 and to encourage pedestrian activity and public use.

To that extent, the plan does not envision more parking, something merchants had wanted.

Urban Systems, in evaluating current parking, noted that a review of parking demand contained in a 2018 master transportation plan determined at a peak daily demand, just 32 per cent of parking spaces were occupied.

And this plan now calls for a combination of parallel and angle parking spots.

“We believe the updated concept creates a balance between public input and the intent to make 9th Street a more attractive area of Houston’s downtown,” Urban Systems concluded.

Key to vehicle access is a vehicle turnaround, between two rows of angle parking, behind buildings on one side of the street.

There’s also space set aside adjacent to Hwy16 for a community barn.

Trees will be planted along 9th Street and sidewalks will be accessible to all users.

Urban Systems did note that there could be minor adjustments during the detailed design aspects now underway in preparation for the project going to tender. Completion of the final design is forecast for next spring.

Money for the underground works would come from $2.5 million the District has set aside in its water and sewer capital works account while the above ground reconstruction would be financed by taking $1.059 million from a grant provided by the provincial government earlier this year.

That grant totalled $4.486 million, part of $100 million the province provided northwestern local governments to help them finance capital projects.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read