KAMLOOPS – Improvements to the Tranquille Road corridor are set to focus on landscaping, multi-use paths and signage, and could cost $7.4 million.
The Tranquille Road Beautification Task Force presented an extremely detailed plan of how to better roughly three kilometers from Desmond Street to Airport Road to council on Tuesday afternoon.
Much of the corridor is not considered scenic, or inviting, and the task force was created to help make a better first impression. Originally formed in 2014, the committee was tasked with ensuring the city’s natural beauty is lost on newcomers travelling from the airport into the surrounding city.
The report shows an original estimate of $24 million for the work, but makes a number of compromises to scale the cost back to $7.4 million. The major difference between the costs is the burying hydro and phone lines.
The plan is broken into five phases, sectioning pieces of Tranquille starting at the airport and moving eastward. Each phase is concerned with landscaping, the addition of trees, pedestrian or cycling paths and ‘Welcome to Kamloops’ signage. Where the plans differ is in placement of Telus phone lines and subsequent paths.
Phase one and two allows phone lines to be buried, allowing for wider paths at a great distance from the road. In phase three through five, this is not possible and instead telephone poles are to be moved over by one meter and a barrier created between the path and the actual road because they will be side by side.
The project is being planned so that phase one and two can align with Kinder Morgan’s 2017 pipeline plans, so no portion of the road or path will need to be reconstructed. It is likely a portion of the sewer within the scope of phase three through five will need replacing within the next ten years.
If this last phase and sewer construction run simultaneously, at a cost of $3.1 million it will save the city almost a million dollars. The first phases are expected to cost $4.3 million, with the task force asking for an additional $700,000 not in existing funding sources.
While most councillors supported the projected and welcomed public opinion, via an open house, Coun. Dieter Dudy was concerned about this last point asking how council would explain taking funding out of sources earmarked potentially for other road projects. Mayor Peter Milobar noted this project is still preliminary, and priorities often shift when it comes to road repair.
City staff are planning to host an open house on the project in mid-June.
Engineer's rendering of phases three through five.
Image Credit: City of Kamloops
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