Public reviews coming into lakeshore facelift

Sylvan Lake Mayor Susan Samson is looking forward to public reviews this summer of the town’s ambitious project to give its lakeshore a major facelift.

Sylvan Lake Mayor Susan Samson is looking forward to public reviews this summer of the town’s ambitious project to give its lakeshore a major facelift.

Already several years in the making, the multimillion-dollar project tested early the patience of some merchants tired of seeing construction crews in front of their stores.

“We had some mixed reviews during construction,” acknowledged Samson at an open house to show the public the plans for this year’s work.

But once the Centennial Park changes took shape last year, she’s heard a lot of positive feedback about the effort to create a more pedestrian-friendly environment by re-routing a portion of Lakeshore Drive to create an expanded park right up the water’s edge.

“I think a full test will be a summer without construction (in the park and the downtown), which will happen this year,” she said.

Alan Gassor, the town’s director of operations, also has seen early questions about the project take a more positive turn.

“Now, there’s something they can actually see.”

Only a handful of members of the public turned out in the first hour of the open house on Wednesday that was to run from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

One woman, who declined to give her name, seemed encouraged that the end was in sight for the project that is now in its fourth construction year.

“It’s coming. Simple as that,” she said, adding, “it will be beautiful.”

Project manager Steven Kennedy, of Associated Engineering, said in Centennial Park additions this year will include information kiosks, canopies around circular seating walls, shelters over three parking lot dropoff zones, and benches and tables.

The pedestrian boulevard will be extended from 40th to 34th Street and three links (two of them wheelchair accessible) will connect to the shale trail through the provincial park along the lakeshore. Five viewpoints with benches will be added to give people a place to sit and take in the scenery.

Another project will see a parking lot at the southeast corner of 44th Street and 50A Avenue redesigned with additional stalls. The town also plans to upgrade 40th Street between 50A Avenue and 50th Avenue with gutters, sidewalks and street lighting.

The cost of all the work is pegged at close to $4.2 million.

Also in the plans, and due to be tendered in mid-May, is an approximately $4.5-million project to create a two-lane paved Memorial Trail between Lakeway Boulevard and Hwy 20. Running alongside will be an asphalt walking and biking path.

Financially, the lakeshore project has seen mostly smooth sailing. The cost of the first three phases of work were originally pegged at $17.6 million and came in $4 million under budget.

Samson said the municipality has only had to pay a fraction of that cost because of federal and provincial grants and other funding, some of which came when the province turned over Centennial Park to the town.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lyn Radford, 2019 Canada Winter Games board chair, was named 2020 Sport Event Volunteer of the Year at the Prestige Awards. (File photo by Advocate staff)
WATCH: Lyn Radford wins award for volunteer efforts

The board chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

A candlelight vigil will be held in Red Deer on Thursday to honour the 350-plus people killed in the Easter bombing attack in Sri Lanka. Contributed photo
Candlelight vigil planned for deaths linked to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak

A candlelight vigil is being planned for those who died due to… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Jaxsen Wiebe battles Calgary Hitmen forward Cael Zimmerman for a loose puck when the two teams squared off in February last season. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Calgary Hitmen shutout Red Deer Rebels

Rebels name centre Jayden Grubbe team captain ahead of Friday’s game

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

A sign for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service building is shown in Ottawa on May 14, 2013. A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the judicial warrant process at Canada's spy agency — an issue that made headlines last summer — stretch back at least nine years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Spy warrant shortcomings stretch back almost a decade, newly released audit shows

OTTAWA — A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the estimated $29 million… Continue reading

A trial countdown sign marks the days at George Floyd Square, March 4, 2021, in Minneapolis. Ten months after police officers brushed off George Floyd's moans for help on the street outside a south Minneapolis grocery, the square remains a makeshift memorial for Floyd who died at the hand of police making an arrest. The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will begin with jury selection on March 8. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Officer’s trial could reopen intersection where Floyd died

MINNEAPOLIS — During a group’s recent meeting at the now-vacant Speedway gas… Continue reading

FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2020 file photo Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell calls for an end to violence in the city during a news conference a day after a demonstrator was shot and killed in downtown Portland. Amid protests following the police killing of George Floyd last year Portland dissolved a special police unit designed to focus on gun violence. Critics say the squad unfairly targeted Black people, but gun violence and homicides have since spiked in Oregon's largest city, and some say disbanding the 35-officer unit was a mistake. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP, File)
As violence surges, some question Portland axing police unit

PORTLAND, Ore. — Elmer Yarborough got a terrifying call from his sister:… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Just don’t call it cod liver oil

Many people swear that a daily dose of various vitamins is an… Continue reading

Email editor@auburn-reporter.com
Letter: Preserving green spaces in Red Deer

The Advocate published an article Feb. 11 about Sunnybrook residents concerned about… Continue reading

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Most Read