A major improvement project in downtown Lacombe will begin later this month.
Council recently approved just under $6 million in contracts to clear the way for construction to begin on April 24. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of October.
The total cost of the project is estimated at $6.7 million and will see aging sewers replaced underground.
Above ground, streetlights will be replaced, roads altered and improvements made to make the historic core more pedestrian-friendly.
To allow downtown businesses to remain open and accessible, the project has been designed in stages. The first job will be to remove asphalt downtown, which will involve rolling road closures.
The city has been working with downtown businesses to minimize the impact on them. All businesses and sidewalks will remain open during construction.
As well, Lacombe plans to post one of its senior staff downtown to work with contractors and downtown businesses.
The city’s engineering services manager will have an office in the former police station and will work out of there one or two days a week.
Council trimmed the budget for the project during budget deliberations last year. Originally priced at $8.4 million, council reduced that by almost $1.7 million by making a number of changes including scaling back street furniture and tree planting.
To save money, 50th Street will remain two-way, less expensive sidewalks installed and entry features eliminated.
Information on the project is posted at www.lacombe.ca/mainstreet.