First Street Utility Upgrades

For the most recent updates on this active construction project, please refer to the Project Construction Page.

The City of Nanaimo is undertaking infrastructure improvement projects in the First Street Area as part of its 5-Year Capital Plan. These projects focus on the revitalization and upgrade of essential utilities, enhancing the city's resilience, and supporting growth and service quality for its residents.

Image shows an overview of the various utilities being replaced around the project area.

Location plan

Key Components of the Project

Bowen Road Upgrade:

  • Location: Along Bowen Road, stretching from Acacia Ave to Ashlar Ave.
  • Improvement: Replacement of approximately 260 meters of a 200mm diameter concrete sanitary main.
  • Background: The existing sanitary sewer, installed in 1959, requires renewal due to its deteriorating condition.


Doric Avenue Upgrades:

  • Location: From Bowen Road intersection along Doric Avenue up to 96 Doric Ave.
  • Improvements: Includes sanitary improvements replacement of a 117-meter run of 150Ø concrete pipe and an 85-meter run of 150Ø and 200Ø concrete segments, and of approximately 80 meters of 200Ø ductile iron watermain.
  • Background: The sanitary sections, dating back to 1959, and the watermain, installed in 1982, are being replaced due to age, condition, low flows, and water quality issues.

Sanitary Pipe Replacement on First Street:

  • Location: From 629 First Street to the manhole at First and Doric.
  • Improvement: Replacement of approximately 44 meters of concrete sanitary pipe.
  • Background: Originally installed in 1959, this section requires replacement due to poor condition, damage, and cracking

Redesign and Replacement in Southern Sections :

  • Improvements: Includes replacement of two final runs of sanitary systems. The first segment involves a 100Ø lateral behind 96 to 104 Doric. The final portion runs from the manhole behind 104 Doric to Ashlar Avenue.
  • Background: These sections are being replaced due to inadequate size, inability to conduct assessments, and deteriorating conditions.


Road Rehabilitation

  • Locations: Bowen Road and Doric Avenue.
  • Details: Full lane rehabilitation along Bowen Road and Doric Avenue where new utilities are replaced. Other sections will involve trench restoration.


Raised local intersection:
A "raised local" intersection will be included in the scope of work at Doric and Bowen. This is to meet the standards in the City of Nanaimo's Manual of Engineering Standards and Specifications, for traffic calming and pedestrian safety. 

Read more about raised intersections and Nanaimo's new street design standards here.


General Considerations

Please exercise caution and obey all signage and the direction of traffic control personal, who are there for your safety.

If your regular commute involves using Bowen Rd or the mentioned local streets, consider alternate routes to bypass construction delays. Traffic on Bowen Rd between Acacia and Ashlar may be reduced to a single lane at times, and access to Doric and First St could be limited to local residents only.

Residents living adjacent to the project area should plan for potential delays. If avoiding these roads is not feasible, allow extra time for your journey.

Estimate Construction Start Date: Early to Mid January

Estimate Construction Completion Date: End of April

Note: Not all project areas listed above will remain closed to traffic for the extent of the project.

Construction Department
Phone: 250-756-5321


  • Progress

    Refer to the Construction Page for most up to date information. 

    Feb 2024: Utilities installed and services reconnected on Doric Ave. Work to begin on Bowen between Acacia and Ashlar.

    Jan 2024: Construction began.

    Dec 2023: Tender awarded to Hazelwood Construction.

    Nov 2023: Tender issued.

    Oct 2023: Project design issued for Tender.

  • Documents

    Nanaimo Transportation Master Plan

    Since 2002, the concept of complete streets has been consistently endorsed by the Nanaimo Council, staff, and community members. This commitment is reflected in over 17 documents and plans developed in the last 16 years, focusing on the creation of a sustainable, greener, and multi-modal network that caters to all users, not just motorists.

    In 2014, this vision took a significant step forward with the Nanaimo City Council's approval of the Nanaimo Transportation Master Plan (NTMP). This plan includes key recommendations for establishing complete street standards and enhancing the city's cycling network.

    The rehabilitation element of this project and the intersection upgrades at Doric and Bowen, reflect the goals of the Transportation Master Plan.

  • Details
  • Background

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