Two-time BCAA Worst Road defending champion Westside Road seems to be in the running for the infamous title yet again.
Westside Road was named worst road in the annual campaign in both 2012 and 2013.
The BCAA contest promises to bring attention to some of the most problematic roads in the province by sharing complete survey results to road authorities to encourage improvements.
Although voting only recently opened, as of Wednesday morning Westside Road was at the top of the 2014 list, followed by 40 Street Northeast in Salmon Arm.
Last year, 89 per cent of those who voted for Westside Road suggested potholes and crumbling pavement was the main problem. The road earned approximately 250 votes out of the total 2,000 votes cast.
Over the past two-and-a-half years, several improvements have been announced for the infamous road.
In November, 2012, the province announced a significant infrastructure upgrade, which involved the re-aligning, widening, shouldering and installation of barriers for approximately two kilometres at two separate sections of Westside Road.
On July 11, 2013, one day after Premier Christy Clark won the Westside-Kelowna byelection, she announced another $1 million would go toward additional paving on Westside Road.
In total, more than $6.5 million was spent on Westside Road in 2012 and 2013; since 2008, $10.3 million has been spent on the road.
“Westside Road serves a number of the Okanagan’s most popular resorts and campgrounds, as well as over a thousand residents…it’s not acceptable to have it named B.C.’s worst road,” Clark said at last year’s funding announcement.
Regional District Central Okanagan West director Jim Edgson is pleading with residents not to crown Westside Road with the title of B.C.’s worst road for a third straight year.
Although Edgson has been a long-time advocate for improvements to Westside Road, he said the province “has been efficient with funding and (has) made things happen.”
He’s concerned another poor ranking may cause the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to pack up and initiate projects elsewhere in the province.
“If people are grateful and appreciative about the efforts, (the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure) will carry on,” said Edgson.
“People have to understand that there’s been a process in place since 2011 and it’s coming to fruition.
Votes for this year’s competition can be cast until May 26.
For more information on the survey, or to vote, visit bcaa.com/worstroads.
– With files from Richard Rolke, Vernon Morning Star