Road hogging continues as big block construction projects dominate downtown
By John McDonald
Big construction projects will dominate downtown Kelowna for the next couple of years.
(JOHN MCDONALD / iNFOnews.ca)
February 19, 2015 - 8:27 AM
KELOWNA - If you think Kelowna has endured a lot of big-ticket construction projects in the last few years, you would be right. If you thought it was over, you would be wrong.
A number of large building projects, and all that goes with it — detours, lost parking spaces, narrowed roadways — have either broken ground or are just about to, in the downtown core, including the Innovation Centre, the Kelowna Health Centre, the Westcorp hotel tower, the RCMP police services building and pair of parkades.
Leading off is the 9,850 square metre Innovation Centre. Foundation construction has begun at the site beside the Kelowna Library on Doyle. This project should be complete by early 2016. Driving and parking along Doyle and Ellis adjacent to the site is restricted.
Going up kitty corner to the innovation centre is the Kelowa Community Health Services building. The huge site has affected parking, driving and pedestrian access on all three sides of the site along Ellis, Doyle and St. Paul streets. When completed, the building will house over 800 Interior Health Authority staff currently working in leased space around downtown.
Over near the water, groundbreaking is expected this summer on the 24-story Westcorp hotel tower. This $65-million project is going up on the old Willow Inn site. Once construction begins, Mill St. will be shut down completely and added to the hotel site as part of the deal agreed to by Kelowna city council to advance the project, expected to be complete by 2017.
A pair of car parks are also set to begin construction, one beside the Kelowna Museum and the other adjacent to the current library parkade. Just further down the street, upgrades to the Queensway bus loop have pushed buses and passengers to temporary stops on Ellis and Water Streets.
On the edge of downtown, the $48-million RCMP police services building will break ground this spring. The new police station is going up at Richter St. and Clement Ave.
To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email email@example.com or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015