Construction on the Ross Street underpass project is expected to start in early summer of this year, beginning on the north side of the tracks.
Council awarded the final portion of the design phase to RF Binnie and Associates at its last meeting in January, the same firm that has been working on the project since 2014.
Because 90 per cent of the detailed design was done by the same company, in order to ensure continuity, staff and council did not wish to send the final 10 per cent to tender. The final design piece, which involves the railway line, will cost $79,000.
The city’s director of public works and engineering, Rob Niewenhuizen, outlined the tentative timeline for the project.
He said it will go to tender in the spring, with the railway track work taking place over the summer.
“The main phase will be building a spur track to allow it to bypass the construction component,” he explained.
Later into the fall, some of the work on Lakeshore Drive will get started, with the first part a large berm area that will go around the underpass.
“It’s important for residents to know, we’re trying to plan with an approximate year-long construction project so we don’t disrupt downtown over two summers… I’m suspecting it will be a September to September project,” Niewenhuizen said.
That means, if everything goes according to plan, work should wrap up following the summer of 2020.
In the city’s October 2018 referendum, citizens were asked: “Are you in favour of Council for the City of Salmon Arm adopting Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 4500, which would authorize the City of Salmon Arm to borrow $5,300,000.00 for the purpose of constructing the Ross Street Underpass and related works?”
The referendum passed, with 3,486 votes cast in favour and 2,069 opposed.