The Town of Sylvan Lake announced on Tuesday, February 13th, the launch of the Centennial Street modernization information web page. 

The page is designed to provide information on upgrades from Centennial (50th) Street to 48th Avenue. 

Because of how long construction has been going on in this area, there have been many concerns from citizens and business owners on the toll it is taking on the area.  

Jared Waldo, The Communications Officer for The Town of Sylvan Lake talked about why this work needs to be done. 

"It’s important for people to realize that this isn't a spark decision that we've made. This has actually been in the works since 2014, with a lot of the work being done 10 years ago, that has that brought us to this point. It was part of the plan all along, but because of the work that we've done on 50th Ave we're able to get in there now and save some money.” 

One of the reasons the Town wants to do the construction right away is to correct the issues with the roadway and underground utilities which are past the end of their life cycle. The Town of Sylvan Lake on the webpage gave a few reasons on why the work should be done now: 

  • It’s cheaper to replace aging underground infrastructure before it fails,  

  • Some water and sewer mains are over 40 years old,  

  •  The Town can save money by upgrading landscaping and sidewalks at the same time as the road. 

Unfortunately, it isn’t just the local Municipality that decides on the timeline for the project. At the railway crossing the upgrades must be approved by Transport Canada, and CN Rail (who perform the upgrades on their own schedule). 

Waldo says safety is also taken into consideration on the railway crossing upgrades.  

“We’re making sure that safety is number one at such a busy intersection, not just in the summertime but all throughout the year. Because of those trains coming through town, there's a lot of fingers in this, a lot of things going on, just to make sure that it's done properly and safely within the confines that we're dealing with.” 

map of affected areaCourtesy of Google Maps

The Town of Sylvan Lake realizes that this construction, although necessary, does put a strain on businesses and traffic in the area. Once this phase of the Centennial Street and 50th Avenue phase is completed, they will have a planned break. This break from construction will run from January 1st, 2025, to December 31st, 2026. 

Waldo talks about the importance of the Downtown core and getting businesses involved in the process.

"The heart and soul of any community is it's downtown core and Sylvan Lake is no different. We want to ensure that we're working with our partners so that we can continue to see a thriving and ultimately fruitful downtown. We will be continuing to have conversations with businesses as we move forward because we are all in this together, and we want to make sure that we do right by everybody as much as we possibly can and just ensure that success in the long term. Sustainability for everybody.” 

You can access the Centennial Street Modernization website here.