City council voted unanimously Tuesday to fast-track a lighting project on the North Shore that will make Tranquille Road safer and beautify the street at the same time.
North Shore Business Improvement Association manager Peter Mutrie was smiling as council unanimously approved the spending.
“We’re making progress on this,” he said.
City corporate and community affairs director David Duckworth told council the lighting project was initially spread over five or six years, using gaming money to cover the costs.
But to disrupt traffic year after year over that period of time could be hard on business, and there are also economies to be had by putting out one contract instead of five or six, he said.
The lighting upgrades will include the signals where Tranquille Road intersects with Wood, Poplar and Yew. The design is expected to be completed in a few months and tenders for construction in early 2013.
An alternative approval process has to follow, then construction could begin in April or May, he estimated. The actual work is expected to take six months.
City streets and internal services manager Jim McNeely said the change means putting out one contract instead of five or six, and is less disruptive to businesses.
It also means all the poles will be bought at once, so they will all match and be available.
But because the work involves unknowns in the ground, there is a chance there could be surprises. The City is estimating one-third of the wiring conduits will need replacing.
There are currently 50 to 55 lights along Tranquille Road. When the project is done, there will be more than 80.
Duckworth said the streetscape plan includes a long-term vision for the corridor, looking at improving pedestrian safety and foot traffic.