Vernon council has changed its direction on an upgrade to Kalamalka Lake Road.
After bringing the issue back for reconsideration Monday, Council voted to get the project done as soon as possible, meaning a total road closure for 9 to 12 weeks from Browne Road to the Alpine Centre.
The city will ask the contractor to work 12 to 16 hours a day to shave 3 weeks off the time frame.
Councillor Catherine Lord says it was a difficult decision.
“There is no win in this situation. Everybody has to suffer a little bit, but I’m very happy to see we did change it to try and get that done as quickly as possible.”
Dave Straughan of Uncle Dave’s Pizza says it’s going to have a big impact on traffic.
“Why are they going to tender in March when this could be well underway in February? What are they waiting for? Why don’t they put it off until next year, so they would have everything ready to go by February 1st, and get it done?”
Daryl Carlisle from Unique Garden Art and Gifts across from the Vernon Golf Club on Kal Lake Road doesn’t think this decision was any better than the first one.
“I don’t think so. The last decision was 6 t0 8 weeks closure, so now were back to 12 to 16 weeks, with three weeks off that. It’s worse.”
Two weeks ago, council voted for alternating delays with a six week total road closure, which would have led to the project taking up to six months to complete.
Councillor Scott Anderson was the lone opponent to council’s new motion, wanting the city to consider having the contractor work 16 to 20 hour work days, or putting off the project until next year to investigate 24-7 construction.
“We’ve had hundreds of signatures on a petition for 24-7, or some sort of extended work conditions, and failing that, for an alternating road closure. The very last option, the one nobody seems to want, is the one we voted on,” Anderson told Kiss FM.
Mayor Akbal Mund says council did what they felt was best for the majority.
“Councillor Lord had gone to a bunch of the businesses and I talked to businesses, and a majority want the road closed and the project done as quick as possible. There are those who don’t want the road closed, but the idea is we’re going to have to do the project, so let’s try to do it in the least amount of time as possible,” Mund tells Kiss FM.
Mund says a city survey of 37 impacted businesses had 21 saying they wanted it done as quickly as possible, seven wanted alternating traffic, and the rest said they didn’t care either way.
Mund and councillor Juliette Cunningham appeared angry at Anderson during the discussion for raising the idea of 24-7 work, which they say was not feasible with 180 residential units nearby, and finding a contractor to do that.
“There are a hell of a lot of residents there,” said Mund.
“I wish you would stop giving false hope to the public. It’s disingenuous,” said Cunningham.
The tender on the $2.8 million project closes this week.
By extending the work to six days a week and 12 to 14 hours a day, would add $175,000 to $250,000 to the cost due to overtime and other factors.
The upgrade will add a multi use path along the road and upgrade services from 14th Avenue to the city boundary with Coldstream, but only Browne Road to the Alpine Centre will be subject to the total closure.
Detours and signage will be in place for vehicles to use College Way, Husband Drive and Aberdeen Road in Coldstream during the closure.
No start date has been set but it could be as soon as mid to late April.