PIB bridge nears completion

Work on the new Satikw Crossing bridge across the Okanagan River Channel in Penticton is near completion.

Penticton Indian Band Chief Jonathan Kruger said Friday that the project is mostly done and construction crews are now focused on cleaning things up.

"Our goal was to have it finished by the end of October and it is ahead of schedule," he said. "I am thankful for our contractors and also thankful for our partners, the federal and provincial government."

Kruger further expressed his gratitude to the city for their patience during construction and the PIB Development Corporation staff for all their hard work and effort.

In addition to the new bridge at the location, improvements have also been made to the Highway 97 and Green Avenue intersection.

On Friday, people used a crosswalk at the intersection and walked across the bridge to access the path by the channel.

Kruger said he doesn't anticipate any sort of opening ceremony at this point, because they are still working on the infrastructure plan for the property development on the other side.

"We are planning on bringing our water system from the Skaha Hills development  through the Penticton airport land, so there is still work being done on that," he said. "If all the stars align with Transport Canada, CP Rail and aboriginal affairs we are hoping to get the water line in, in March.

After that we could potentially bring in development."

Completion of the bridge opens up access to locatee land on the other side and Kruger said they are looking forward to working  with the locatees on development options.

"It is all locatee land and we want to support them as much as we can," he said.

As for the possibility of the casino moving there, Kruger said they are definitely open to it moving to the property.

"They are welcome to put their development there, because it would be the perfect match," he said.

The Penticton Lakeside Resort recently announced it has opted not to renew its lease with the casino when their current term ends in May of 2017.



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