It will be up to a new board to keep an eye on Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s plans to resurface two local rural roads.
At the Oct. 18 meeting of the current Columbia Shuswap Regional District board, the last one prior to the Oct. 20 election,
chair Rhona Martin noted directors need to keep an eye on information contained in a Sept. 21 letter to the board from Transportation Minister Claire Trevena identifying Salmon River Road and Deep Creek Road as priorities.
Trevena began by pointing out that MOTI prioritizes resurfacing projects for rural roads based on many factors – a route’s condition and use, available resources, existence of competing priorities and whether the project can be co-ordinated with other local road improvement priorities.
“Deep Creek Road is a high priority for resurfacing,” Trevena wrote. “Local staff will assess the road in the near
future for potential resurfacing in 2019, based on funding availability and other local road improvement priorities.”
Trevena also indicated the ministry’s local area manager is working with the Deep Creek Farmers Institute to identify and further address some of the local concerns and plans to install a cross culvert to address road flooding issues and clear culverts on both Deep Creek Road and Schoolhouse Roads.
“These two roads will also undergo significant reconstruction later this year to repair freshet damage,” wrote Trevena. “Road shoulder drops are also an issue at several locations on these routes, and the ministry is working with our maintenance contractor to find a permanent solution.”
Trevena acknowledged that Salmon River Road is another of the ministry’s “highest priorities for resurfacing” in the district. Scheduled for resurfacing in 2017 and again in 2018, the project was postponed to co-ordinate with the Salmon River Road Bike Lane project.
“As you may know, the design of the bike lane has progressed to a separated bike lane, and the ministry plans to resurface Salmon River Road during the 2019 paving season,” Trevena wrote.
“They’ve been telling me that for four years,” said Area D Director Rene Talbot. “Rural roads are falling apart because all the money is going to the Trans-Canada Highway.”
Ryan Nitchie, CSRD’s team leader of community services, says the final design is being completed and will be going to tender for the construction and delivery of a pedestrian bridge going over Salmon River. As well, he expects to go to tender on the parallel trail this fall for spring construction.
The trail will start at Silver Creek School, located on Salmon River Road at Hornsberger Road, and will continue south four kilometres to the Silver Creek Community Park.
“We chose the area because it connects the school and the library with most of the houses,” says Nitchie, noting CSRD has a preliminary design to continue the parallel walking trail to the boundary with the City of Salmon Arm but elected to do this space first because it connects the majority of the homes. “It’s all about safety; we’re quite excited to let kids walk beside the road on a separated parallel path.”