SUNDRE — Landscaping along Main Avenue West is receiving a facelift that is bound to turn some heads, says the municipality’s chief administrative officer.
“I will guarantee you when people are driving by this boulevard, they’re going to slow down and look, and maybe go back to their own communities and talk about what Sundre is doing,” said Linda Nelson last Tuesday, July 21 during an interview in her office.
Landscaping is already underway, with some columnar aspens recently planted and a new wheelchair-accessible pergola was built. Once complete the area will also feature about half a dozen physically distanced picnic tables on the north side of Main Avenue across the road from Tim Hortons, said Nelson.
“It will be great for the community — pack a picnic lunch and bring your family out,” she said.
The project’s theme, she added, is colour.
“Bright, beautiful colours along the whole boulevard.”
The assortment of colours includes the tables, and she said the furniture is going to be powder coated.
“So it will stand the test of time in all seasons. Probably a good eight to 10 years before it has to be re-sprayed,” she said, adding the pergola was constructed using treated wood that will also endure longer in the swing of extreme winter and summer temperatures and conditions.
There is also going to be two shrub beds boasting a colourful mosaic of perennial plants picked specifically to avoid attracting deer, she said.
“It’s going to be spectacular — absolutely beautiful.”
The project is being tackled in two phases, she said.
The first, which she said could be finished this year, is comprised of the west boulevard stretching from the Tim Hortons intersection at Main Avenue and Rge. Rd. 54 to Mountain’s Edge Cycle & Sled at the 7th Street SW intersection.
“We would love to see Phase 1 done by sometime in August.”
The second phase, which will begin next year, will continue to extend eastward along the north side of Main Avenue all the way to 6th Street SW across the street from the King’s Motel. The final design for Phase 2 will likely be completed over the course of the winter, she said.
“This was all part of the Main Avenue reconstruction,” she said, adding the landscaping plans “were all included in those initial costs.”
With the paving work largely done — only the final lift of asphalt has yet to be completed — all that remains is the finishing touch of beautifying the landscape, she said.
The final lift of the road’s surface, she added, will be done if not this season, then next.
Nelson said the landscaping portion of the Main Avenue West project, which cost roughly a couple of million dollars, is expected to come in under budget.
“We’re doing this one ourselves,” she said, adding the work and design is being done in-house.
Additionally, volunteers with the Vision for Sundre committee have teamed up with the new Sundre Tourism Association to help not only facilitate the municipality’s effort to finish the work, but also reduce the overall cost, she said.
Providing easy access to the site by foot, wheelchair, or bicycle is the new three-metre wide path.