An illustration of the two-way bike lane along Pandora Avenue.

Construction of Pandora bike lane pushed back

Construction of a two-way bike lane along Pandora Avenue has been pushed back as the city continues to work out details of the design.

Construction of a two-way bike lane along Pandora Avenue has been pushed back as the city continues to work out details of the design.

The proposed 1.2-kilometre bike lane would run along the north side of Pandora Avenue between Store Street and Cook Street, becoming the city’s first fully protected bike facility with a connection to the Galloping Goose trail via the Johnson Street Bridge.

According to city staff, the design is 60 per cent complete and now pegged at $2.09 million — slightly higher than the original estimate of $2.06 million. The bulk of the cost is for electrical work and traffic signs that will need to be partially or completely reconstructed.

Originally, construction was slated to begin in January, but now the final design won’t be completed until March. Construction has now been pushed back to April.

Fraser Work, director of engineering and public works, said the street project is probably the biggest the city has done since Douglas Street between Humbolt and Herald in the late 90s.

“The reality is this is a significantly large project and takes quite a bit of digging in to work on all the details of construction,” said Work during a governance and priorities committee meeting on Thursday.

“We want to make sure that this happens swiftly, but accurately as well.”

According to a report to the committee, the amount of parking spaces expected to be lost has now been reduced from 44 to 32, based on the current design. The bike lanes will be physically separated by parked vehicles using bollards, paint and some landscaped medians.

At a transit stop on the 700 block of Pandora Avenue, the sidewalk will have to be narrowed and additional design work is required for specific zones such as Swans Hotel and the McPherson Playhouse. Cyclists could also have their own traffic signals at some intersections.

In addition to the protected lanes on Pandora Avenue, a traditional painted marked bike lane will be introduced on Johnson Street in April.

The two-way bike lane is part of council’s plan to build a network of eight bike corridors throughout the city. More than $7 million has been dedicated for the installation of cycling infrastructure over the next five years.

More neighbourhood meetings will be held during the next few weeks to make sure residents and business owners fully understand the network. A final recommendation will be made to council in the spring.