The end is in sight for Sylvan Lake’s ambitious multi-million lakeshore makeover.
Construction began in 2009 on the project to transform a section of Lakeshore Drive into a pedestrian-friendly park catering to the throngs of beach lovers who descend on the town every summer.
Originally pegged at just under $17.6 million, the three phases of work completed so far have come in $4 million under budget. Most of the project was funded from various provincial grants, including money given to the town when it took over Hwy 11A in town from the province.
Phase four work will begin this spring and is budgeted at $4.2 million. Among the work to be done is building more of the 3.2-metre-wide promenade and realigning the shale walking trail along the lake. Lighting, street furniture, picnic tables, 30 kiosks featuring information plaques, larger kiosks advertising local events and landscaping are all part of this year’s project.
“Phase 4 in my opinion is window dressing,” said Mayor Susan Samson. “The bulk of the construction is done.”
The work won’t be as intrusive either, so residents won’t be facing another summer of road closures and detours.
Revamping the waterfront area was a huge project. Part of Lakeshore Drive was torn out and grassed over to create a much bigger Centennial Park. Parking was removed from Lakeshore Drive and the road was realigned to divert traffic a block further south and a new parking lot was created.
The last piece to be completed will be some upgrades on the west end of Lakeshore Drive, but that work is relatively minor, she said.