March 27, 2014 - 9:24 AM
KELOWNA – A busy stretch of road between two elementary schools in South Mission has been deemed dangerous enough for council to push safety upgrades ahead seven years.
Lakeshore Rd. between Dehart and McClure was scheduled to be upgraded when the south Mission area reached 3000 units of development. At 100 new units per year, the road was a minimum of seven years away from the start of construction.
A petition signed by 200 parents was received by council July 5 requesting the upgrades move ahead sooner than planned and council approved proceeding with design, property acquisition and construction Monday.
Coun. Colin Basran says many members of council have met with parents who have kids at the school and understand their concerns.
“This is the right thing to do,” he says.
The upgrades will include two lanes for vehicles with a turning lane in the centre, bike paths on both sides, multiuse pathway on the west side of the road and a sidewalk on the east side.
Infrastructure division director John Vos says pre-design, land acquisition and initial detailed design will begin this year at a cost $700,000 from reserves and gas tax funding. Detailed design, construction and completion will occur into 2015 at a total cost of $5.18M.
“That’s a very high level estimate,” he says. “We’d like to refine those costs further before coming back at final budget.”
Vos says that his staff looked at temporary solutions but decided against it.
“Ultimately (temporary sidewalks) would have to be removed because we don’t own the land to put them in the right place.”
Basran agrees that a stop-gap solution is a waste of time and money.
“A temporary solution would not have been a good use of funds,” he says. “I’m happy to see this moving forward with an accelerated timeline.”
Lakeshore is a major tourism and recreation corridor that sees an average of 12,000 vehicles per day and the widening of Lakeshore from Richter to Barnaby is part of the City's 20-Year Road Network Plan.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014