The labour dispute between Fortis B.C. its unionized electrical workers in Kelowna is having a direct adverse effect on the city’s biggest and most visible public works project.
City Hall says will not complete the Bernard Avenue Revitalization project this fall, as planned, because of the nine-week-old lock-out of electrical Fortis workers by the company.
The city said Tuesday it is revising the schedule for the third and final phase of the $14 million revitalization project and will only complete the stretch of Bernard Avenue from St. Paul Street to Ellis Street this fall because it does not require underground electrical work.
Completion of of what is now being called “phase 3a” is scheduled for the end of November with work on the the remaining section, from Pandosy Street to Ellis, to begin in the early spring of next year.
The entire project is now slated to be complete in June 2014.
“It’s a regrettable situation, but to mitigate impact to businesses only the area where we know the work can be completed will be started,” said Bill Berry, the city’s director of design and construction services.
Phase 3a of the work started on Tuesday. The first phase, from Richter Street to St.Paul Street and the second phase, from the Sails’ sculpture at the fot of Bernard to Pandosy Street were completed last fall and last spring respectively.
The labour dispute between Fortis and its workers has dragged on since July when the company locked out the workers, who are looking for a pay increase.
Visit kelowna.ca/cityprojects for the most up-to-date information and to learn more about the many projects happening downtown.