With construction of the Ross Street Underpass ahead of schedule, so is the closure of Lakeshore Drive.
On Nov. 29, Lakeshore was closed to westbound traffic from 4th Street to Alexander Street, and to eastbound traffic from Shuswap Street to 4th Street.
City staff said the CP Rail bypass track is now complete so Kinston, the contractor, is able to focus efforts on Lakeshore Road. They’re completing the utility relocation that is necessary prior to the major storm sewer installation and excavation works.
“The road closure did come about quickly but this is a very complex project so we can expect that there will be some schedule changes during the construction,” said Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s director of engineering and public works. “We have met with DSA (Downtown Salmon Arm) to discuss the road closures and the contractor is working with the affected businesses to accommodate deliveries etc. during the closure and will do so to the best of their ability.”
He said it’s anticipated the road closure could last up to four months.
“As the work progresses on Lakeshore the contractor will try to open up sections of the road to better accommodate traffic flow. We are all working hard to ensure the project is completed in as short a duration as possible to minimize the long term disruption.”
He asked for the public’s cooperation and patience as they’re travelling in the area, as did DSA manager Jennifer Broadwell.
Broadwell noted that while the traffic patterns can be inconvenient, the end goal is completion of the underpass.
“We ask that people have as much patience as they can while travelling downtown and visiting our downtown businesses,” she said. “And support local business.”
She said because the closure was initially not expected before the new year, some signage is still on the way.
“We’re putting up snowflakes and traffic signs,” she said with a smile. “Tis the season.”
Broadwell noted that Downtown Salmon Arm has a good relationship with the city and the contractor, and both are working hard to minimize any negative effects of street closures.
She said drivers can head down Alexander as usual, but can only turn left on Lakeshore. Because of the closure, it was possible to add angled parking on a portion of the street between Alexander and Shuswap.
A map of the changes can be seen on DSA’s Facebook and Instagram.
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