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Gellatly work starts Tuesday

Work to repair severe slope damage on Gellatly Road won't begin until Tuesday.

TT Contracting will perform the work which is expected to take about five weeks to complete.

The work will involve the installation of a 1.8 metre diameter culvert for Smith Creek. Fill will then be placed on top of the culvert to help stabilize the steep bank on both sides of the creek.

It is not expected that roadwork will be required, but this may change when brush and debris are removed from the affected area.

The District has already installed an emergency bypass for the sanitary sewer line, owned by the Regional District of Central Okanagan, which runs under the road to prevent any environmental contamination should the pipe be damaged by further slope failure before the culvert is in place.

An environmental assessment and plan will also be conducted to determine if any wildlife in the affected area must be accommodated or relocated.

The portion of Gellatly Road between Witt Road and Angus Drive was closed May 2 after a 160 metre long section of the bank below began to erode.

The District of West Kelowna commissioned geotechnical and hydrological reports on the erosion which indicated there is a high probability that additional erosion will occur and that stabilization measures should be carried out immediately in order to protect the public and the existing embankment and roadway as well as buried and overhead utilities.

A local state of emergency was declared by Mayor Doug Findlater May 12 and confirmed by Council the following day.

The District has received confirmation of $440,250 in funding to come from the Province of BC through Emergency Management BC, with the support of the Regional Emergency Program, to conduct emergency repairs to the roadway.

Recognizing that the District had planned to upgrade this section of Gellatly Road in 2015, it is working cooperatively with the Province on this emergency repair, and will contribute $1.3 million in order to conduct repair and upgrade works at the same time.

The Local State of Emergency was called in order for the municipality to access the powers authorized in Section 12 and 13 of the BC Emergency Program Act. The slope failure has put the roadway at risk, which is a transit and emergency services route, and also a nearby watermain, a gravity sewer main (owned by Regional District of Central Okanagan) and private utility infrastructure.

The detour along Witt and Carrall Roads will remain in place.

Motorists are reminded that the speed limit on this detour is 30 km/hr and that West Kelowna RCMP are routinely patrolling the area.

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