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Construction set to begin on Regina’s Dewdney Avenue revitalization project

Regina’s Dewdney Avenue is about to get a major facelift years in the making.

The project spearheaded by city council hopes to transform the area into a more vibrant community, with a focus on pedestrian access and public spaces where people can gather.

On Thursday, the Dewdney Avenue revitalization project kicked off with a groundbreaking ceremony.

“It’s great to actually have the plan approved and all of the engineering and design work done so that we can design (Dewdney Avenue) to be more commensurate with what you would expect of kind of a cool Warehouse neighbourhood,” Mayor Sandra Masters said.

“This is an exceptional neighbourhood here in our city centre core. Connectivity to downtown is massively important.”

The project will be done in phases over the next two years, with water and sewage mains to be updated this summer and superficial additions of boulevards and greenery to be completed during the 2025 construction season.

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Construction will be funded by three levels of government, for a total price tag of $32 million.

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The City of Regina purchased the land known as ‘The Yards’ in 2012, and funding for the area was approved in 2018.

Masters said it is intended to be a mixed-use site and said it contains the potential for an undecided recreational facility.

Regina’s Dewdney Avenue is home to many pubs, clubs and shops. Victoria Idowu / Global News

Regina’s Warehouse District executive director Leasa Gibbons said structural changes like the replacement of aging underground infrastructure, widened sidewalks and multipurpose outdoor spaces will transform the Dewdney Avenue corridor, providing a much safer and more exciting space.

“For businesses to not only survive but thrive, we need this investment in infrastructure,” Gibbons said. “We are going to transform this traffic corridor into a main street and that’s going to have a generational impact on our city.”

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But with new infrastructure comes construction — something businesses in the area aren’t thrilled with, but they say it is an inconvenience they can live with for long-term gain.

“There is no good time to do a project like this, there is always going to be pain that comes with that,” Rebellion Brewing co-owner Mark Heise said. “We have been advocating for this. We opened our business here 10 years ago knowing this was going to happen.”

Heike Edwards, the owner of the Wine Cellar, echoed that sentiment.

“I am looking forward to the finished product, but I am not looking forward to the construction phase. No one likes construction, but it’s short-term pain for long-term gain,” Edwards said.

The first phase of construction is planned to begin the week of April 28 and includes lane restrictions between Albert Street and Broad Street.

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