Pipes, roads, buildings, bridges and a lot of other things above and below ground are referred to as a city’s infrastructure. In Kelowna’s case, the city has invested millions building and maintaining infrastructure indispensable to the daily lives of all residents and businesses.
In this, the second in a five-part series produced by the City of Kelowna about its annual capital projects delivery plan, roads are highlighted. The series outlines $145 million in projects the city plans to undertake in 2017 to build and maintain the diverse infrastructure needs in the community.
Approximately $67 million of the total is anticipated to be invested in new projects, with the other $78.9 million carried over from 2016 projects, which includes roadways, sidewalks, bicycle networks and bridges.
They connect people, communities and opportunities, but roads are often overlooked and underestimated in the amount of resources required to create, maintain and improve them.
“Summer brings increased traffic to our roads, as well as a rise in construction and maintenance activities,” said Brian Beach, infrastructure delivery department manager for the City of Kelowna.
Road improvements account for $10.7 million of the total $145-million 2017 capital projects budget.
Major city projects that are included in this year’s capital plan include the third phase of the Ethel Street Active Transportation Corridor between Harvey Avenue and Sutherland Avenue, a roundabout at Doyle Avenue and Water Street, a roundabout at Lakeshore Road at Collette Road and intersection improvements at Cawston Avenue and Water Street as well as at Spall Road and Clement Avenue.
Some projects are being constructed in collaboration with others, namely the much anticipated John Hindle Drive which will be a major city road once complete, and the Okanagan Rail Trail, part of which is being built this year to connect to the airport and the UBC Okanagan campus.
Did you know?
• Approximately 60,000 vehicles cross Harvey Avenue going north-south between Abbott Street and Gordon Drive every day. That’s the same amount of daily traffic that travels across the W.R. Bennett Bridge.
• Approximately 350,000 vehicle trips happen in Kelowna during an average weekday.
• The City is responsible for the maintenance of approximately 1,600 lane kilometres of roadway – that’s almost the same distance as Kelowna to San Francisco.
• All road markings are re-painted at least once a year; center and lane lines on arterials and connectors that see more use are painted twice per year.
• Kelowna has more than 70 km of off-road pathways, 280 km of bike lanes and 412 km of sidewalks and walkways.
• The approximate cost of maintaining 1 km of roadway is $2,700 per lane km and $1,074 for 1 lane km of multi-use pathway.
Don’t let events, road closures or construction get in the way – residents can plan their commute atkelowna.ca/roadreport. When approaching a road maintenance crew, motorists are asked to please reduce speed and drive with extreme care. Stay alert, minimize distractions and show consideration for the person working at the side of the road.
Check out the infrastructure projects happening in city neighbourhoods or subscribe to project updates atkelowna.ca/cityprojects.