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Main Street re-landscaping begins

Blocks between Fourth and Second Avenues are now closed to vehicle traffic; sidewalks still open

The re-landscaping of Main Street in Smithers has begun.

This morning (April 25) crews from Lyons Landscaping, out of Kamloops, closed off the two blocks between Fourth and Second Avenues and began removing the existing trees and other landscaping features.

Ultimately, the downtown core’s trees, shrubs, planters, and hardscape items such as benches and bins will be rejuvenated or replaced.

In a press release dated April 8, the Town said the result of extensive consultation with landscape experts indicated trees along Main Street cannot be salvaged due to their age and the severe constriction of their roots in the raised planters.

“We know this removal of existing vegetation will come as a shock to the look of the downtown core, but we are confident in the vision of the landscape revitalization and know the results will be worth the temporary disturbance,” the release stated.

The work will proceed along Main Street two blocks at a time and those active blocks will be closed to vehicle traffic to quicken the construction process, the Town said, but sidewalks will remain open for the duration of the project. Some parking spaces may be closed, however, even when the street is open to vehicle traffic.

Work will take place Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with occasional extended hours and be largely completed by mid-August, the Town estimates.

“There will be periods of disruption and temporary unsightliness as the work takes place but the end result will be beautiful,” the press release stated.

“We are looking forward to seeing the transformation of Main Street and thank you in advance for your patience as the temporary disturbance takes place for the long-term gain of an even more beautiful downtown core.”

Council originally voted to put off replacing some trees in 2019 until 2020 when the lowest bid came in at double the budget.

The more comprehensive redesign of the landscaping was then put off in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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