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New study to address needs, challenges for Bay Roberts businesses on Conception Bay Highway

The Town of Bay Roberts is preparing for an upcoming study about the needs of business owners and operators along the Conception Bay Highway.
The Town of Bay Roberts is preparing for an upcoming study about the needs of business owners and operators along the Conception Bay Highway. - Andrew Robinson

BAY ROBERTS, N.L.

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

CANADA

The Town of Bay Roberts is preparing to reach out to the business community calling the Conception Bay Highway home as part of an upcoming study.

The project, according to a tender recently published by the town, would involve consultations with stakeholders to make the highway a main street business district for the community.

A part of this process would be to identify the needs and challenges for these businesses situated on the busiest road in Bay Roberts — a four-lane highway. A traffic study completed for the town in 2016 found over 18,000 vehicles pass through this stretch of the highway daily.

“18,000-plus vehicles on a daily basis is an awful lot of traffic that’s going up and down that road,” Mayor Philip Wood told The Compass. “If we can make it safer for all concerned, that’s one of our goals.”

The ultimate goal will be to make the area better suited to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic through concrete changes and aesthetic upgrades. This would then potentially foster economic growth along the highway and bring more business to those already established there.

“The purpose of this study will be to interview and talk with the businesses that are along that stretch (of the highway) for their input,” Wood said. “Also, to develop some drawings and also to get some cost analysis for some of the work. We’re going to make it a more friendly or appealing stretch of road than what it is now.”

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the provincial government are footing most of the bill for the project, valued at $72,500. The town’s share will be approximately 10 per cent of that figure. Qualified consultants have until Aug. 31 to submit proposals to the town.

Having the study in its pocket will be useful, according to the mayor, when it comes to applying for government funding down the road.

“There are some businesses along that stretch already, and of course, there are some vacancies,” the mayor said, mentioning the former Shoppers Drug Mart building as one example. “Hopefully (the study) will enhance some more businesses along that way too.”

The Town of Carbonear went through a similar exercise in recent years with its downtown revitalization project. A consultant was hired by the town to engage residents and the business community and develop concepts for new sidewalks, aesthetic upgrades, parking availability and other matters, all for the purpose of strengthen the local economy. That project ultimately identified multiple phases of work with an estimated cost of $5.3 million.

Work on the project, once the consultant is hired, should begin no later than Sept. 25, Wood said. The town anticipates it will take two-to-three months to complete.

editor@cbncompass.ca

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