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Nanaimo St from E Hastings to Dundas St

City to begin sewer separation as part of Nanaimo Street Upgrades

The City continues to replace combined sewer systems with separated systems as part of our 2050 sewer separation target – more than 50 per cent of which is now complete.

Jerry Dobrovolny, General Manager of Engineering

February 1 2019 –

On February 4, the City will begin construction to upgrade critical sewer infrastructure along Nanaimo St between McGill St and East 4th Ave. Work is anticipated for completion in spring 2020. 

Sewer separation

Work includes replacing the existing sewer with a separated and larger-capacity system, with one pipe for rainwater runoff and another pipe for sanitary sewer. Separated systems take waste water from homes to the treatment plants, while runoff water from streets is redirected to natural waterways. 

The new sewer will have a life expectancy of 100 years to help serve this growing neighbourhood. 

What to expect during construction

Work will begin at Nanaimo and Eton Street and progress south, typically along three-block segments. There will be occasions when construction is active along more than one segment to ensure efficient progress and completion. 

At least one lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained throughout construction. Road users are encouraged to plan ahead by checking online or on the go through VanConnect

The City thanks residents and travellers for their patience and understanding while this critical work is underway. 

Potential street improvements 

In coordination with these sewer upgrades, there is also an opportunity to improve Nanaimo Street to make it safer and more comfortable for all road users. 

As an arterial street, truck and bus route, and important connection to local neighbourhoods, a new street design along Nanaimo aims to:

  • Reduce crossing distances for people walking
  • Upgrade pedestrian crossings
  • Accommodate current and future traffic volume while discouraging speeding
  • Reduce conflicts between people cycling and driving with dedicated cycling facilities
  • Upgrade traffic signals
  • Repair sidewalks where needed

In fall 2018, the City hosted an open house to provide the community with an opportunity to weigh in on these potential changes, which are largely informed through the Grandview-Woodland Community Plan as part of making Nanaimo a more complete street. 

Most respondents were supportive of changes to prioritize safety and accessibility for people walking. Staff are currently reviewing the community feedback in more detail to determine the scope of this work in coordination with the sewer separation, and will share what they heard from the community at the end of this month. 

Learn more about the upgrades