City of Barrie wins economic development award for Dunlop Streetscape project

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Barrie was recognized Feb. 3 by the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) for the recently-completed Dunlop Streetscape Project. The $16 million project, which focused on safe pedestrian movements and accessibility, as well as enhanced lighting, visibility and service opportunities for businesses, was selected as the winner in the Urban Building Initiatives category.

Tatham Engineering was the designer and construction was completed by Arnott Construction.

Each year, EDCO recognizes excellence in economic development initiatives and leaders from Ontario communities through their EDCO Awards of Excellence. In 2020, communities submitted 105 projects, including a variety of economic development projects from promotional brochures to infrastructure development projects and economic resilience initiatives.

Barrie’s Dunlop Streetscape award application highlighted the commitment to “go beyond the major undertaking” required to replace and repair aging infrastructure underground, by showcasing the:

  • tremendous makeover of the downtown main street
  • project’s community impact and return on investment
  • green infrastructure initiatives; and
  • collaboration between the City and the BIA in coordinating marketing and communications efforts

“We are honoured to be recognized by EDCO for this very important project in our downtown,” said Andrea Miller, general manager of infrastructure and growth management.

“The revitalization of Dunlop will draw more residents and visitors to the downtown for shopping, services and dining which will be critical to the economic recovery following COVID.”

The project was completed at the end of 2020. It was a major undertaking that replaced and repaired infrastructure underground, while giving the city’s main street a complete makeover.

Underground improvements include:

  • a partial new storm sewer and catch basins
  • new watermain elements
  • flushing/cleaning of sanitary sewers
  • tree pits with soils cells

The street now has wider and more accessible sidewalks and more permanent patio options for downtown restaurants and stores. New streetlights, planters, trees, benches, bike racks, pay and display parking machines and waste/recycling bins add to the improved aesthetic that now defines Dunlop Street.

For more information on the Dunlop Street Streetscape project, visit www.barrie.ca/DigDowntown.