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Burying utilities uncovers $1M overrun

It is going to cost the City of Kelowna an additional $1.1M to complete upgrades planned for Lakeshore Road later this year.

Nearly half of the increased cost (about $500,000) is for underground Shaw and Telus lines and to provide future FortisBC conduits so the city doesn't have to rip up the roadway in the future.

The other added cost is for upsizing of the sanitary sewer system along that portion of Lakeshore Road from Cook to Lexington roads.

"We want to ensure future population projections are served by that size of sewer," project manager Purvez Irani told Council Monday.

"Also, we want to make use of the existing sewer trunk that is there. Cost is for upsizing to a larger sewer trunk and for twinning the sewer trunk."

In order to cover the additional costs three other projects earmarked for 2014 will not go ahead.

One of those is a parking lot asphalt replacement project.

City Infrastructure Director, John Vos, says cancelling that project this year could mean higher costs in the future.

"It is unfortunate we will be not be proceeding with the repaving of parking lots at $150,000," says Vos.

"Will there be an increased cost in future years due to inflation costs of asphalt etc, there could be a risk there. This was a first step of a multi-year effort to start repaving our parking lots."

The final cost of the project, which includes replacement of the outdated Lakeshore Road bridge, is expected to cost about $11M, an expense the city will be footing on its own.

"I would be curious to know how many times we have applied for grants to help fund this project because it has been pretty frustrating that we have been turned down a number of times on what is a significant corridor in our community and the fact we are adding multi-model which is something higher levels of government want to see happen," lamented Councillor Colin Basran.

"Just a little bit frustrating and obviously none of us are happy to have this amount spent but obviously it is the right thing to do in this case."

Irani says the project is expected to go out to tender in the next few weeks with construction slated to run from April through to November.

He expects the bridge itself to be out from the end of May until August.

"We have some primary routes and secondary detour routes. Building that roundabout at Lexington first is generally going to help with circulation there," says Irani.

"The reason we did Lakeshore Road last was because we worked in a systematic fashion over the years. Casorso first then four lane Gordon Drive to help with traffic when Lakeshore was out of commission. Hopefully, that will help."

As part of the project the former La Mission Motel will be demolished. Initially, it will be graded and used to mobilize crews working on the bridge.

Eventually, the site will become a parking lot before a park is built on the site sometime down the road.

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