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Crossfield downtown revitalization continuing in 2021

Construction along Railway Street in downtown Crossfield will continue this spring, though a Town representative promises the work will not be as long-lasting or disruptive as last year.

Construction along Railway Street in downtown Crossfield will continue this spring, though a Town representative promises the work will not be as long-lasting or disruptive as last year.

According to the Town of Crossfield’s website, the downtown revitalization and beautification project is continuing in 2021. Crews from Professional Excavators and Construction Inc. are back in town as of April 13.

Christina Waldner, the communications and research officer for the Town, said residents should not expect the same level of disruption as last year, when the whole road was dug up to replace ageing below-ground utilities and infrastructure.

“Last year, we did all the deep servicing, so new water and sewer pipes,” Waldner said. “It involved digging up the nine blocks of Railway Street. All of that was completed last year, so 90 per cent of the project was done last year. This year, there are a few things we need to finish off.”

Workers began this year’s project by laying trenches northbound starting from Gray Avenue to install the electrical components for landscape lighting, according to the Town’s website. Crews will also install a construction fence from Osler Avenue to Limit Avenue on the west side of the road to prepare for concrete pouring for new sidewalks.

Waldner said the most disruptive aspect of the project this spring includes a second layer of paving atop Railway Street.

“We let it settle over the winter, which is standard practice, and then we come back in the spring to put in the second lift and level out some of the areas that may have sunk over the winter,” she said.

The installation of signage, sidewalk furniture, lampposts and lighting will also be completed this year, Waldner added, in addition to the installation of new sidewalks and widening of other sidewalks.

“It’s more the cosmetic stuff and some of the landscaping that needs to be done,” she said, adding most of the work should not affect traffic flows through Crossfield’s downtown.

“The majority is going to be [off to the side] but of course when we do the second paving of the roadway, that is going to cause a little disruption and some detours,” she said. “They won’t be as long-term as last year, simply because we won’t be digging up the road and having it open in one stretch for a week or two weeks. It’s just a case of closing it to pave, letting it cure and then opening it again.”

The Town of Crossfield's former Chief Administrative Officer, Ken Bosman, previously said the municipality is spending approximately $10 million on its downtown construction project, though Waldner said the final budget is still unknown. Last year, the Town upgraded much of its sewer and water mains along Railway Street in order to increase the road’s drainage and water flow capacity.

The project also intends to beautify and revitalize Crossfield’s downtown and make it more pedestrian-friendly and welcoming.

While the Town of Crossfield does not have a timeline for the completion of this year’s work, Waldner said the recent nice weather has allowed crews to kick off construction a few weeks earlier than expected.

“Hopefully, if we get some nice weather, we’ll be able to get it done in a timely manner,” she said. “But there’s no end date written in stone at this point.”

To date, Waldner said she has not heard any grumbling from area businesses about the continuation of construction along Railway Street, but added residents should contact the municipality if they have any issues or concerns.

“I think it’s going to be nice for everyone to have it finished and be able to see what the final product is going to look like,” she said. “We asked residents and businesses to hang on and stick with us over the winter – it wasn’t the prettiest over the winter – but when it’s done this year, I think Railways Street will really be something and people will be proud of it.”

Scott Strasser,
Follow me on Twitter @scottstrasser19

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