Valleyview residents concerned about increased traffic at Owl Road intersection

KAMLOOPS - A group of Valleyview residents are concerned how increased traffic out of the Owl Road Landfill could impact safety in the area.

Concern over the safety and ability of the intersection at Owl Road and Valleyview Drive to handle increased traffic at the repurposed landfill led Michael Popoff and a group of area residents to speak up at a council meeting yesterday, Oct. 6.

Popoff is asking the city to build a new entrance into the landfill off of Highland Drive. The property will also be used by public works as a staging area for snow removal, leading the group to believe there will be more heavy traffic on Valleyview Drive.

Popoff and the group claim the landfill exit onto Highland Drive is a safer intersection with greater lines of site and connects easily out to Highway 1. They don't believe the Owl Road and Valleyview Drive intersection can be improved.

According to Jen Fretz, the public works director, a road off of Highland Drive was expected to cost over $1 million,  $700,000 more than budgeted for, and deemed too expensive. She also says traffic was not expected to increase significantly.

While other councillors were also concerned about the associated costs, they eventually sided with Mayor Peter Milobar’s logic that the Owl Road landfill was expected to be used until 2052 so whatever decision was made needed to be the right one.

Milobar said what is cheap wasn’t the issue, they had to construct the safest intersection, earning him applause from the Valleyview residents in attendance.

Council decided a comparative study as to the better access and safety of both intersections.

The City of Kamloops will spend $10 million to buy the Owl Road Landfill and repurpose it as a resource recovery centre to dispose of construction and demolition waste. The landfill will also serve as a satellite yard for the public works department to help provide more effective snow removal, street sweeping and park maintenance.

The city takes possession of the Owl Road Landfill Dec. 15.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at dreynolds@infonews.ca or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.


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