Home stretch for Nancee Way underpass construction

Finishing touches are being put on Nancee Way underpass and six weeks from now, the interchange should be fully operational.

The Nancee Way underpass is scheduled to open by late November.

Finishing touches are being put on Nancee Way underpass and six weeks from now, the interchange should be fully operational.

“They are preparing the bridge deck for concrete…that will be concreted in the next week or so. It will take about a month for that to cure,” said Evelyn Lube, spokesperson for the Westside Road Interchange Project.

“The underpass should be open to traffic by late November; the entire project is scheduled for completion at the end of December.”

Although completion of the project is scheduled for the end of 2012, paving of Nancee Way, underneath the new structure, is being postponed until spring 2013 so the work can be achieved during better weather conditions.

The completion of the project will likely be welcomed by motorists. Last month’s paving of Highway 97 through the Westside Road Interchange Project caused significant traffic snarls.

Lube said the daytime paving was approved by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure; however, crews quickly noticed the plan wasn’t working efficiently.

“We realized it caused some congestion, so we worked with the contractor to reschedule the work and scheduled it for the evenings.”

Most of the traffic-impeding work has been completed, but when the highway is adjusted back to its normal alignment, there will likely be a few more slowdowns.

“There will be a couple days of shifting lanes over, but that won’t be until the end of November.”

Lube said the traffic management plan for that work is still being developed; therefore, she is unsure if daytime delays are in the cards for next month’s realignment of Highway 97.

Last November, the opening of Westside Road overpass was followed days later by the collapse of one of its retaining walls. The failure delayed the entire Westside Road Interchange Project by several months.

Lube is confident that the second phase won’t have any of the same problems.

“There have been a lot of engineers and a lot of tests done…the ministry is confident (it) will be sound.”

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

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