Work has started on the third phase of Kelowna's $14 million Bernard Avenue revitalization work. But a labour dispute at FortisBC means part of the work will have to wait until next spring.

Kelowna’s Bernard Avenue work returning to original schedule says city

"Delay" is only the loss of time saved by quick work on second phase in the spring says city official.

Kelowna city officials say the $14 million Bernard Avenue revitalization project is not being delayed because of the Fortis B.C. labour dispute, it’s just losing the time it made up by being ahead of schedule.

According to Bill Berry, the head of the city’s construction services department, the original deadline to complete the work was June 2014—the date announced Tuesday as the new expected completion date. Thanks to fast work by the Vernon-based contractor on the second phase (Abbott Street to Pandosy Street section) of the project, time had been made up that would have not required road reconstruction continuing into next spring, said Berry.

The original plan called for a final layer of asphalt being laid on the rebuilt road next spring, he added.

On Tuesday, the city announced that due to the lock-out of Fortis B.C. electrical workers by the company, it has had to split the third and final phase of the Bernard Avenue project into two sections, with one part now underway and and the other to take place next spring.

Berry said the first part, from St. Paul Street to Ellis Street, can be done now because it does not require electrical lines under the road to be be worked on. But that’s not the case with the stretch from Ellis Street to Pandosy Street.

Berry said as late as last Friday, the city talked with Fortis officials and were told they could not do the electrical work because their workers are still locked out and there was no sign of them going back to work anytime soon.

“We waited until the very last possible moment,” said Berry, adding the city felt it necessary to inform the public, especially area merchants. of the situation as soon as possible.

He said for the last nine weeks during the lock out, the city had been “crossing its fingers” hoping for a resolution to the labour dispute at Fortis.

The company locked out the workers in July.

Berry said there are no negotiations ongoing between the city and the company and there is nothing the city can do to get the work done without a resolution of the labour dispute. The Bernard Avenue work does not quality as an essential service that must be maintained by the locked out Fortis workers. And Berry said it is unlikely any legal attempt by the city to get the work done would be successful.

He said even if the labour dispute ends soon and the Fortis workers return to work, the Ellis to Pandosy block cannot be completed this fall because while the contractor had planned to use two crews, both working at the same time, on the two blocks to complete the work November, now the second crew is no longer available.

Berry said the city remains hopeful that the Fortis labour dispute will not drag on into next  spring because that would result in the city having to really delay completion of the road work.

“I feel sorry for the merchants down there, said Berry, saying the city had hoped to wrap up the Bernard revitalization work by November because of the time save during the spring work.


The Bernard Avenue work started last fall and has been done in three phases, with breaks last winter and this summer. The third phase, now known as phase 3a, started on Tuesday.



Just Posted

Driving Change: A Kelowna man’s charitable trip across Canada

A Kelowna man, his bus, and his mission for positive change across our country

Kelowna examines options to connect Rutland with rail trail

Public feedback on the four options is available online until May 6

Wanted man nabbed after flipping car in Kelowna

A wanted man is now facing charges

Highway 33 to re-open Friday

Traffic expected to resume at around 7 p.m.

Dangerous driver stopped by spike belt in Lake Country

The driver was arrested in Lake Country after fleeing the scene in Kelowna

Kelowna properties flooded along Heimlich Road

Flooding started on Spiers Road Tuesday and continued into properties, said an area resident

Countdown is on to the 2018 B.C. Summer Games

Cowichan Valley hosts on July 19-22

Case of teacher secretly filming teens reaches top court

Acquittal of teacher, Ryan Jarvis, who secretly videoed teens ‘dangerous,’ top court told

The “industry will collapse” : South Okanagan winery reacts to ruling

Okanagan Falls winery concerned for the future of the industry after Supreme Court ruling

Why a 14-year-old will lead the charge at annual marijuana protest on the Hill

Marijuana enthusiasts have long been circling April 20 on their calendars as annual day of cannabis

B.C. communities await marine spill compensation years after incidents

The government maintains a Ship Source Oil Pollution Fund to compensate Canadians

RCMP say too early to know what happened in Broncos crash

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said collission very complex

Rock titans rule Prospera Place

Peter Frampton and Steve Miller have been friends for 51 years.

Conservative MP wants feds to close loophole for illegal border crossers

Immigration advocates call on government to suspend Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement

Most Read