There'll be a new safer sidewalk and multi-use pathway (MUP) on the north side of Austin Avenue this fall.
Coquitlam construction crews are set to start digging Monday morning (May 1) on the project that stretches more than half-a-kilometre from Walker to Guilby street in front of Vancouver Golf Club.
Beyond that, a 130-metre extension of the existing paths west of Guilby Street, just east of Brookmere Park, will be repaved as a new MUP for the benefit of Austin Heights neighbourhood bikes and e-scooters.
Traffic along the popular thoroughfare is set to be impacted for the next five months as crews are scheduled to work 10-hour shifts depending on weather.
In an update, Coquitlam city staff said ongoing construction will affect westbound commuters as Austin Avenue will be reduced to a single lane on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Drivers, bikers, scooters, skaters and pedestrians are encouraged to give themselves extra time if they need to use the route.
For the longest time, the narrow path on the north side was considered a sidewalk despite light poles and driveway crossings, and its natural conditions have deteriorated for several years.
Coquitlam was able to officially to start getting shovels in the ground after the province granted $500,000 to the municipality through its BC Active Transportation Program.
The next stage in the Austin Avenue sidewalk/MUP upgrade begins after workers removed 32 trees in February — 28 were deemed unhealthy or potentially unsafe as stated by a professional arborist.
But, new trees and shrubs are set to be planted once the sidewalk is completed.
"This is one of the city's highest-priority sidewalk improvement locations because it is on a busy arterial road connecting Austin Heights to the Lougheed Town Centre," said Mark Zaborniak, Coquitlam's design and construction manager, in an earlier statement.
"The sidewalk improvements along Austin Avenue increase pedestrian safety and mobility options."
Coquitlam engineering and public works department listed the following other improvements included in the Austin Avenue construction:
- Retaining walls to mitigate impacts to tree roots
- Hand railings along the retaining walls
- Relocation of the traffic signal controller at the Austin/Guilby intersection
For more information about the new sidewalk and multi-use pathway, you can visit the city's website.