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Changes in store for Hay River's Courtoreille Street

The construction on Courtoreille Street could last up to six weeks, but the mayor says it's worth it.

"We've got some ideas on finishing it that would bring some character to the town," said Brad Mapes in a July 3 interview.

Courtoreille Street has been reduced to a single lane, with traffic flowing from Woodland Drive to Capital Drive, since July 2. Sidney Cohen/NNSL photo

As for what those ideas are exactly, the mayor said that is "top secret" – at least until Monday night's council meeting.

The road work is part of town efforts to improve the "curb appeal" of the downtown Hay River, states a report to town council dated July 9.

The town has considered extending the sidewalks on Courtoreille to make room for benches, trees and planters.

Also on the table is the possibility of converting Courtoreille into a one-way street with parking on both sides.

"There is little we can do in our downtown core to improve the look and feel of the area," reads the report.

"Courtoreille as a one-way street would promote what is referred to as traffic calming and is proven to improve the character of a neighbourhood."

Mapes said the important thing is to make sure the street is wheelchair-accessible.

The mayor said he was inspired by downtown Whitehorse, which has flower planters, trees, old style street lamps, benches and sculptures on Main Street.

"In Whitehorse, their downtown roads, some of them our pretty unique, we want to do the same kind of thing," said Mapes.

The strip that runs from Woodland Drive to Capital Drive has been reduced to a single lane since July 2, when workers began the repairing the underground piping and paving.

Mapes said at least one lane of the street will remain open throughout the construction period.

The roadwork is a long time coming, he said.

"If you go back into the past 10 years, our town never really looked after our old stuff," said Mapes.

Fixing up the town's road systems is one of the mayor's top priorities.

Wright Crescent and three nearby cul de sacs are also getting work done this summer.

Last summer construction crews brought Wright Crescent's water and sewer lines were up to standard, said Mapes. This summer the road will get fresh paving.

The cul de sacs are getting their underground infrastructure brought up to standard this summer and will be paved next summer.