It’s back to the drawing board with planned upgrades to Fourth Ave. between White and Hambrook streets, council decided at its Monday, July 18 meeting.
Geoff Goodall, Ladysmith’s director of infrastructure, presented two recommendations to council. The first was to proceed with work repaving the road surface, upgrading utilities and adding a three metre wide multi-use lane, replacing the existing sidewalk.
Work on that half kilometer section of Fourth was to be carried out in two phases, with the White to Belaire streets section being completed in 2016, the remaining 200 metres from Belaire to Hambrook in 2017.
The second recommendation was to ‘complete a functional design’ for the remaining 2 km section of Fourth Avenue between White Street and Jim Cram Drive at Forrest Field.
Goodall said there wasn’t enough time to comfortably complete the work between White and Hambrook streets before the weather changes.
“I think it’s going to be really challenging for us to get this job finished,” he told council.
Doing work after winter conditions set in could result in deficiencies and shortened life span of the finished project, he noted.
Doubts about being able to finish the initial phase raised concerns about even beginning the project when an overall plan for the entire 2.5 km stretch of Fourth Avenue had not been drawn up.
“I would say just discussing little bits here and there would be a mistake,” said Coun. Carol Henderson.
Coun. Steve Arnett also expressed concerns, even though the neighbourhood might be anticipating a start to the project. “I know that might disappoint some people,” he said of going back to the drawing board, but he added it was more important to get the project right rather than hurry it through.
Council passed a motion to delay the project until an overall plan is in place. “The motions says bring us the big picture, bring it with costs, and bring it with timelines,” Mayor Stone said before the vote was called.