Work on the Kalamalka Lake Road/Okanagan Rail Trail Connector project is expected to get underway in a couple of weeks now that city council has increased the budget.
Council has approved spending an extra $560,000 due to higher construction costs, unforeseen findings discovered during detailed design, and extra costs to get it done as quickly as possible.
The total price tag is now over four million dollars.
The contract has been awarded to LB Chapman Construction of Vernon.
Councillor Brian Quiring says the city has tried to keep the impacted businesses informed.
“I think they are fully informed. Some are happy, some are not happy. You can’t please everybody. It’s one of those things. We are going to do the best that we can,” Quiring tells kiss FM.
The project will cover the area from 14th Avenue (by Kal Tire) to the Alpine Centre.
The portion from Browne Road to the Alpine Centre is expected to be closed for 9 to 12 weeks, to add a multi use walking and cycling link to the Rail Trail, and to upgrade services.
Mayor Akbal Mund says it will impact businesses and drivers, but they are trying to get it done as quickly as possible.
“That’s the other key: we are not trying to drag this out. Most construction projects in the 3 to 5 million dollar range take more than a year to do. And this one, we’re trying to complete, one time, get it done, get it over with,” says Mund.
The city received three bids for the work, ranging from 3.2 to 3.8 million dollars.
There will be detours in place, but businesses along the road have been upset customers won’t be able to get to their shops.
The project budget is now $4,028,459 and is funded as follows:
Infrastructure and casino reserves – $1,313,833
DCC reserve – $1,223,235
Grants, sidewalk gifting and works contributions – $630,704
Taxation – $860,687
“The Okanagan Rail Trail has the potential to be a premier attraction in the Okanagan, building on many other lifestyle amenities that the region has to offer,” says a city news release. “The trail connection between Vernon and the Rail Trial via Kalamalka Lake Road will allow Vernon to maximize the economic benefits of the rail trail.”
The City says the public and media will be kept informed of any traffic disruptions and all reasonable efforts will be made to make all aware that the businesses on Kalamalka Lake Road are open as usual.