An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
GET READY TO PRACTICE your zipper merge.
Remember 2015, when the Overlanders Bridge was being rehabilitated and we spent eight months fighting traffic as the daily commute from North Shore to South and vice versa became a hurry-up-and-wait exercise?
That was nothing compared to what’s in store beginning in April, when work will start on revamping Victoria Street West and continue until the fall of 2020. Though we’ve known about it since last year, details have been somewhat sketchy until now — the cost is now confirmed at $13 million compared to $10 million for the bridge.
At first it was expected two lanes would be open at all times; now it could be down to one.
When the bridge was being rehabbed, the City undertook a major and mostly successful information campaign to keep residents up to speed on progress, as well as traffic flow on the bridge.
West Victoria will present an even bigger challenge, given the impact not only on traffic but on businesses along the street. The co-operation and patience of all concerned will be required to keep us all from going stark raving nuts. So brush up on your zipper merge techniques.
But something about the project puzzles me. Between the bridge and the Seymour Street West intersection, it will include beautification, pedestrian safety upgrades, and replacement of aging infrastructure.
The City assures us of the need for it because water, sanitary and storm services there date back to the early 1900s. That being the case, why wasn’t that taken care of during a major reconstruction on that same stretch back in the 1990s?
I wonder how much money is being wasted because City Hall didn’t have the foresight to get the job done back then.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.