The District of Invermere will spend nearly $800,000 to revamp the portion of 7th Avenue near Pothole Park by the May long weekend.
Planned upgrades include better crossings at the 7th Avenue and 9th Street intersection, an expansion of the roadway which would make room for a future bike lane and more plants and street lighting.
Contractors will also install sidewalk on the park side of the street, replacing the path pedestrians currently navigate to reach the rest of the downtown core.
“This will now tie the two links of downtown together,” district CAO Chris Prosser told council, adding the project will “set the tone” for future upgrades to 7th Avenue.
Money for the project will in part come from a $400,000 Towns for Tomorrow grant the district picked up back in 2008, as well as gas tax and Resort Development Strategy funds.
The bulk of the project is slated for completion by May 18, with a full wrap-up date of June 30, “so it’ll all be ready for summer,” Prosser said.
“I think it’s a huge improvement,” councillor Greg Anderson said of the project.
Along with road and sidewalk improvements, the district also plans to plant another 13 trees along the roadway, install a “planting border” for seasonal flowers between the sidewalk and street, and construct a rest area along the new stretch of sidewalk overlooking the park that would have space for picnic tables and benches.