BC’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has confirmed the 20th Street extension in north Vernon will be a one way street, but could be expanded in the future.
The road, which is in the City’s jurisdiction, will provide a southbound connection for vehicles from Stickle Road to 20th Street near RONA, once its completed next year.
The extension was considered necessary as left hand turns from Stickle Road onto Highway 97 will not be allowed under the intersection upgrade expected to be done this fall.
The ministry says the Stickle Road plan was modified in October 2016 to include the one way extension which is a city street.
“The 20th Street extension is a city street, and this single lane in the southbound direction was added to the project in the early stages of design to replace the loss of the southbound turning movement at the Stickle Road intersection,” says the ministry in an email to Beach Radio News.
The government says the road could be widened, if needed.
“The road footprint and sub-base construction for the 20th Street extension is designed to accommodate the future expansion of the municipal road should development in the area increase.”
Vernon Monashee MLA Eric Foster says part of it will be two way.
“The portion of it that is outside the city, which is the responsibility of the Ministry of Transportation, will be built for two way traffic. And for whatever reason, the city has chosen their side to be only one direction, southbound,” Foster tells Beach Radio News.
Foster says the cost of a two way road would be covered either by the ministry or a future developer above that area.
“There is no money involved here for the city. It’s not going to cost them either way. So to me, it doesn’t make one bit of sense.”
The City is expected to issue a statement on the road Thursday after a request by Beach Radio News.
Vernon’s MLA says he is seeking answers after hearing the 20th Street extension from Stickle Road will only be one way.
Eric Foster says the original plan when the Liberals were in power, was for a two way road to connect Stickle Road with 20th Street near RONA, and he’s called the Ministry of Transportation, looking for clarity.
“If in fact Transportation has changed their mind, I was not made aware of it, and it would have been done after the change of government, so I’m still trying to get to the bottom of who said what,” Foster tells Beach Radio News.
Foster says it makes no sense to make it just one way, given the traffic in that area.
“There is a development going in up above there that will have to have two lanes, so I don’t know why you would wait for that.”
Foster says the land is owned by the City of Vernon who have the ultimate say.
While the Stickle Road intersection upgrade is due for completion this fall, the extension project won’t be done until a year from now.