Changes to the traffic lights in the downtown highway corridor won’t be happening this fall, while overhead signs arching over the highway have been given approval in principle.
Although an initial plan announced in February of this year was to complete the traffic light work during the summer, with much of it being done in the evenings, that plan was delayed to this fall. In June, the city was expecting the work to begin in late September.
However, the latest plan appears to be in the spring.
“It looks like the downtown highway corridor improvements are likely to take place in the spring rather than the fall,” said Mayor Alan Harrison. “We were hoping it was going to take place in the fall.”
He notes the work is a joint project for the city with ICBC and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, so the timeline is contingent on their schedules.
The biggest change to the downtown highway corridor will be relocating the traffic signals at Ross Street to Fourth Street NE, by the downtown Tim Hortons.
Other changes include restricting access at Sixth Street by McGuire Lake, at Ross Street by KFC, and McLeod Street NE by the art gallery. Also, advanced left turns out of downtown at Shuswap Street will be added, and into and out of downtown at Fourth Street NE.
In other highway news, Harrison requested $10,000 in the 2020 budget for gateway signage on Highway 1, a sum which was approved by council.
He said when the city talked to the transportation ministry about improvements to the downtown corridor, he inquired whether gateway signage would be permitted at McGuire Lake as well as on the west side of town.
His idea, he said, is to have a sign that arches over the highway. The ministry said it would be allowed.
“There’d be no better traffic calming than overhead signing at both ends where you have to drive through,” Harrison emphasized.
The $10,000 in the 2020 budget will be placed in a reserve to be used when it’s needed.