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Fri, 20 Nov 2020
After two phases of reconstruction, the transformation of Lakeshore Road East in downtown Oakville was marked today with an official opening where Mayor Rob Burton, joined by Ward 3 Councillors Dave Gittings and Janet Haslett-Theall cut a ribbon to celebrate the completion of the $20 million Lakeshore Road Reconstruction and Streetscape Project and open the road to vehicles, cyclists and shoppers.
“Town Council and the community decided to create a new, more attractive streetscape above ground to give a visible gain for the pain of the necessary construction,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “The result is a more attractive downtown in every way and I hope it will allow us to recover and grow the success of downtown.”
With Lakeshore Road East (Navy Street to Allan Street) coming to the end of its lifespan and needing a major reconstruction, the town undertook extensive research and public consultation to identify broader opportunities to improve traffic, beautify streets and improve pedestrian and cycle ways in the downtown.
In October 2015, Council approved the Lakeshore Road Reconstruction and Streetscape Project as part of the Downtown Transportation and Streetscape Study (DTS). In addition to the Lakeshore Road reconstruction project, the rehabilitation of the Lakeshore Road Bridge over Sixteen Mile Creek and the Two-Way Traffic Conversion Project were also part of the DTS.
The Lakeshore Road Reconstruction and Streetscape Project launched in 2019 and was completed over a two-year period. The new streetscape positions downtown Oakville as the cultural, social and economic heart of the community for generations to come.
Balancing new technology with the area’s historic charm, the reconstruction was guided by urban design principles that reflect the traditional character of the main street. New and enhanced tree-lined boulevards designed for vehicular, cyclist and pedestrian traffic, balance the needs of all modes of transportation.
The flexible design in front of Towne Square will facilitate access for special events and festivals, allowing residents and visitors to experience the many activities it hosts each year.
What's under Lakeshore Road East has undergone a total overhaul, with new storm sewers, sanitary sewers and utility overhauls that include internet upgrades, new hydro lines, water pipes and other renewal work.
The smart city technology includes public Wi-Fi, traffic counters and electric vehicle charging stations. The new street layout provides shoppers with an increased number of parking spaces and businesses with new commercial loading zones.
“Thank you to the residents, businesses and visitors who have worked through the construction process, participated in programming and whose patience and cooperation have assisted in bringing this project to an on-time, on budget, conclusion,” said Jill Stephen, Director of Engineering and Construction.
To support businesses during construction, Digital Main Street was launched in Oakville. The free program is designed to help main street businesses better promote themselves online and adopt digital tools and technologies. In less than two years, the Digital Service Squad has assisted over 230 businesses through one-on-one support and over 60 businesses have received the $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant.
To welcome residents and visitors back to stores and restaurants while encouraging contactless, cashless pay, the town is offering first-time users of the HonkMobile app up to $5 toward their parking, using the promo code OAK2020. The first hour is also free using the promo code DOWNTOWN. Both promotions run until the end of 2020.
The maximum parking times still apply and vary depending on lot locations. Park for free on weekdays after 6 p.m. and all day on Saturdays and Sundays until the end of 2020. During the holidays, you can park between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m at no charge in all town parking lots (exception is the 300 Church Street Parkade).
For more information, visit the Lakeshore Road Reconstruction and Streetscape Project page on oakville.ca.