Contract for preliminary Ross Street underpass design coming to Salmon Arm council

The city is looking to proceed with preliminary plans for an underpass at Ross Street to provide an unimpeded link between downtown and the waterfront. - James Murray/Observer
The city is looking to proceed with preliminary plans for an underpass at Ross Street to provide an unimpeded link between downtown and the waterfront.
— image credit: James Murray/Observer

The next step towards an underpass at Ross Street appears to be its design.

On Monday, March 10, Salmon Arm council will be asked by city staff to approve the awarding of a $40,000 (plus taxes) engineering contract to RF Binnie & Associates Ltd.for the completion of a design and cost review for the underpass.

A memo to council by city engineer Jenn Wilson notes a “grade-separated crossing” has been an objective for the municipality for more than 30 years, and that such a structure would address issues/concerns relating to public safety, traffic management and accessibility to the waterfront. She notes how the “cost/benefit of the  underpass has been greatly debated over the years,” contributing to the project’s delay.

Looking ahead, Wilson explains the project would likely require public approval. However, in order to proceed with a public process, the city needs an updated design (an initial design was completed in 1999 by CWMM Consulting Engineering Ltd.) and current construction costs.

The $40,000, currently in reserves, was budgeted by the city in 2012. Wilson states council’s approval is needed to award the contract as the city will be foregoing a request for proposal process. She says staff believe a direct award of the project to CWMM to be the most efficient use municipal funds as they are already familiar with it, and CWMM have recommended the use of RF Binnie to be the civil engineer because the two “have a strong working relationship and relevant experience with larger projects.”

Staff includes a breakdown of the cost, with RF Binnie doing the civil review for $12,470, CWMM the structural review for $14,000, Levelton Consultants Ltd. a geotechnical review for $7,015, Smith + Anderson Falcon Engineering Ltd. an electrical review for $1,600, and Omni Engineering Inc. a pump station review for $4,915.

Wilson adds there will likely be further work required to finalize a detailed design, estimated to cost between $100,000 and $300,000. RF Binnie has already indicated a completed design concept and cost estimate will be ready by September.


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