Innovative Features of 5th Street Complete Street Project

City Council joined Nanaimo Member of Legislative Assembly, Sheila Malcolmson on a walking tour of the 5th Street Complete Street project, between Menzies and Fitzgerald Avenues. The project was made possible by a $3.253 million grant to the City of Courtenay from the Strategic Priorities fund under the Federal Gas Tax Fund and $,41,900 from the ICBC Road Safety program. The event unveiled new interpretive rain garden signage to mark the innovative rain gardens along 5th Street.

The upgrades to 5th Street include:

  • Physically-separated bike lanes, separated by rain gardens or on-street parking
  • New landscaping and rain gardens that capture rainwater and naturally filter out pollutants before it returns to local waterways
  • Shorter crosswalks and sloped curbing to make it easier for wheelchairs and strollers
  • New tactile strips to aid those with visual impairments
  • Fresh pavement, new signage and lane markings
  • New larger capacity stormwater, sewer and water mains. The new infrastructure replaces pipes installed 60 years ago, providing greater durability and capacity for the future.

The 5th Street corridor was identified for upgrades to attract people downtown and support economic development, and to provide infrastructure to support sharing the roadway for people who drive, walk and cycle. The project also provided an opportunity to replace aging underground infrastructure and introduce innovative stormwater management practices to more effectively manage rainwater in the area.

The Gas Tax Strategic Priorities Fund supports infrastructure and capacity building projects that are either larger in scale, regional in impact or innovative, and align with the program objectives of productivity and economic growth, a clean environment and strong cities and communities. As a recipient of this grant funding, the City was able to re-allocate funding budgeted for the 5th Street project to other important City initiatives.

“Investing in public infrastructure is vital to creating livable communities that provide a high quality of life for residents while promoting local development and economic growth. Our government is proud to support this transformative street renewal project in Courtenay, which is not only protecting the environment and delivering better water and wastewater services to residents, but providing a safer transportation corridor above ground and a more accessible connection to the downtown core for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike.” – The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“When we invest in infrastructure we are really investing in people, and our government is committed to supporting people and communities with the services and amenities they need to make life better. The 5th Street project is a great example of infrastructure designed for people of all ages and abilities, that encourages more cycling and walking, while protecting our environment through smart landscaping and stormwater management – now and in the future.” – Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo

“The Federal Gas Tax Fund is accelerating infrastructure renewal and expansion in BC communities. The renewal of 5th St. provides multiple long-term benefits local residents and reflects an integrated approach to asset management.” – Councillor Ajrun Singh, Union of BC Municipalities president

“We are incredibly grateful to our senior government partners for their contributions to advancing our asset management and sustainability objectives in Courtenay. As we plan for the long-term and uphold the exceptional quality of life in Courtenay, we will benefit from our experience here and apply our learning to future enhancements to critical infrastructure.”

Bob Wells

Mayor, City of Courtenay