February 17, 2015 - 2:33 PM
KELOWNA - The city's director of corporate ventures has never heard of developers both financing and constructing a road, but that's the proposal for the new South Perimeter Way.
“We have never delivered a road in this manner,” said John Vos. “In fact, this is unique in my experience.”
A group of developers active in the Mission, lead by Arthon Industries and the Leong family, have proposed to finance and construct the $7.5-million road and do it ten years earlier than the city would have done on its own.
The road would extend from Casorso Rd. via Stewart Rd., cross Bellevue Creek and link up with the far end of Gordon Dr. in the Upper Mission.
Vos said some other interests would like to see the road built sooner — the Central Okanagan school district is planning a middle school for the Crawford area — but demand and available financing meant the road was unlikely to open before 2025.
“This is purely for the advantage of the development community,” he said. The new road, for example, would skirt the edge of The Pond’s development, which is a project of Arthon Industries. Arthon and other developers will recover the cost of the road through development cost charges levied on other developers, a process the city normally performs.
But what seems like a good deal for Mission residents — a third road out to relieve congestion during rush hour — could end up making things worse in the short term by adding more cars to Mission roads without improving the crossing at Mission Creek.
“It’s in our road plans to four-lane Benvoulin and add two more lanes to the bridge,” said Vos, who added the developer’s largess did not include paying for accelerated bridge construction. “That project is over ten years away right now.”
Vos said the city will likely need to look at ways to ease congestion in the short term around the existing bridge by making changes to the roundabouts at either end. He also said the project is not guaranteed to proceed at this point.
“The potential is always there,” said Vos. “They are managing all aspects of delivering that project. They still have a lot of steps to go through including getting approval to build a bridge over Bellevue Creek. They have to get all the other developers on side. It’s going to take a while."
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015