story by Patricia Merrick | photography by Kurtis Kristianson
Downtown Crossfield will have a new look in years to come. Town of Crossfield staff is currently planning a complete downtown revitalization, which will ultimately make downtown a happening place that’s more green and walkable.
“It’s providing a place for all members of the community – families, businesses and everyone – a place where everybody can gather and have social events,” said Mustafa Hashimi, the town’s director of infrastructure. “Basically, showing other cities and people living in other communities that we have a beautiful downtown where people go not just to work but to live and play.”
Stantec is the engineering consultant for the multi-million dollar project, which is the largest infrastructure project the town has ever taken on. The revitalization plan includes brightening up downtown through adding plaza areas for gathering, wider sidewalks for movability, brand new lights, more seating areas, garbage and recycling options as well as trees and shrubs.
The plan covers Railway Street between Laut and Limit Avenue. A sidewalk will be constructed on the east side of Railway Street, which currently doesn’t have one. But before beautification measures take place, water and sewer lines need to be replaced and storm lines will be incorporated into Railway Avenue, according to Hashimi.
“The main reason we are doing the downtown revitalization is because all the infrastructure underneath needs to be replaced, just because it’s past its useful life,” he said. “We’re investing more into the downtown core itself. Your main business district will see the biggest change in beautification.”
Planning for the project began in summer of 2018. Town staff plans to tender out the project for contractors this summer and have construction kick off next year. Completion of the project is aimed for September of 2020.
Town staff has been working on collecting data and public input regarding what Crossfield residents would like to see downtown. Public input is still being collected and council has not yet signed off on final plans. The exact price tag for the project and where that money will come from has yet to be determined, as it’s still in preliminary design stages.
“We are looking at multiple different functions to incorporate into our downtown to get people to stop within Crossfield and come to the downtown and take a look at it. Those features are being analyzed right now.”
-Mustafa Hashimi, Town Director of Infrastructure
An example would be to have an electric car charging station erected downtown to gather more traffic, he said. There are approximately 60 businesses and landowners in the central business district of Crossfield. An influx of traffic through the downtown core will hopefully drive more business for the businesses currently operating downtown.
“It should revitalize the businesses as well; help them see more foot traffic, help them see more potential customers coming their way,” Hashimi said.