KAMLOOPS - It’s that time of year. Spring officially kicks off March 20, but we’ve been lucky enough to already have several weeks of spring-like weather, allowing crews to get roads cleaned ahead of construction season.
Streets Manager Glen Farrow says things are progressing well and crews are ready to move in to the Sahali and Aberdeen neighbourhoods. While it appears the city is ahead of schedule Farrow warns about getting too optimistic.
“We’re where we should be, but anything can happen,” he says, noting the fleet is old and cause challenges. “But overall we’re ahead of the curve. Before you know it we’ll be painting lines.”
Residents can expect to see construction begin on some larger projects this spring, including the Overlanders Bridge in early April. The connecting roadways as well as the bridge deck and west sidewalk will be the focus of the seven-month project. While construction crews are being allowed to work all day and night, one lane in either direction must remain open at all times.
The widening of Hugh Allan Drive, along with an addition of a round-about at Versatile Drive and installation of traffic lights at Copperhead Drive, may begin as early as the first week of April if Gateway Casinos can get all the necessary paperwork and permitting complete in time.
The casino company has taken over the former Rona location on Versatile Drive but must complete a number of transportation projects before they are allowed to open the new casino. They are responsible for the road work in the area.
City Engineering Development Supervisor Jason Dixon says last his department heard the company was aiming for a start date just after the Easter long weekend, but notes a fair bit of work still needs to be done before that can happen.
“From our point there’s still a fair bit of work to be done, which makes it an awfully tight deadline,” Dixon says. “There’s quite a bit of traffic planning and permitting to be done before they can start.”
While reviewing the plan, which will need to be done by the city and the Ministry of Transportation, can easily take a couple of weeks, Dixon says it’s not completely out of the question for an early-April start date just yet.
An early-April start date for road work like this wouldn’t normally happen in Aberdeen but Dixon notes the weather has been warmer and drier than seasonal normals which could allow for an early start.
Meanwhile the city is also gearing up for the Columbia Street project, which will include the addition of turning lanes and reconfiguration of several intersections from 2 Avenue to 6 Avenue.
Farrow says work will also be done on 12 Street between Tranquille Road and Lethbridge Avenue and Aberdeen Drive between Highway 5A and Van Horne Drive this summer. Several other smaller roads will also be worked on, though the traffic impacts will be fairly minimal. Crews will also begin putting in more permanent fixes where potholes have been patched.
Aside from road work crews will also be improving or putting in new sidewalks and bike paths throughout the city, though plans are still be finalized for several projects.
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