Though no longer on its construction schedule for the Salmon Arm West project, the province assures phase 3 through Neskonlith land remains a priority.
Up until recent, the phase referred to as “IR#3 to 1st Ave. SW” was included on the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s webpage for the local Highway 1 improvement project. Currently, only two phases of the project are listed on the page, including phase 1 – 1st Avenue SW to 10th Avenue SW. On June 4, 2020, the ministry announced this phase, which includes replacement of the Salmon River Bridge, had gone to tender.
Delays on the project, first announced by the province in 2016, continue to draw criticism from Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo, who said the dropping of phase 3 from the ministry’s construction schedule should also be a concern for local residents.
The ministry confirmed phase 3 is no longer in its construction schedule, but stated it remains a priority.
“This segment is complex and runs through one of the Neskonlith Indian Band’s reserves,” stated the ministry in an email to the Observer. “We are continuing the process of developing a detailed design and determining the property required, while addressing any concerns and impacts as a result of that design with the Neskonlith Indian Band.”
Neskonlith band Coun. Joan Hooper confirmed in an email that the band is working collectively with communities and the ministry.
The ministry expects work on phase 1 of the Salmon Arm West project to begin this fall.