Penticton council to discuss 250-plus pages of background data on pricey South Main roundabout

Extensive roundabout data

Penticton council has been provided what they asked for — complete data on a long-planned roundabout that is running $3.16 million over budget.

At the most recent council meeting in March, council heard the latest update on the "Point Intersection" plan, which would see a roundabout on South Main Street at Galt Avenue and Pineview Road, in order to organize the traffic in the notoriously confusing and busy area.

Cost estimates for the project have ballooned since the project was approved by the previous council, prompting the need for the new council to approve before moving forward.

Many on council balked, prompting a lengthy debate. Ultimately, Mayor Julius Bloomfield suggested they put off a decision to a later meeting for an information and background session on the project, specifically keeping in mind the three councillors at the table who are new to the job.

As requested, staff have included extensive background information in the agenda package for Monday's meeting — more than 250 pages worth.

The project's origin stretches back to 2005 with the city's Master Transportation Plan, and in subsequent years, the problem of that unique road configuration has been frequently discussed.

A roundabout was decided upon after a cost-analysis comparing it to signalization came out relatively the same.

Since then, the city has made land acquisitions, like the Shielings Motel, to facilitate the construction.

The project also includes sidewalk and asphalt improvements, electrical, sewer and water upgrades, and a leg of the lake-to-lake bike route from Kinney to Galt avenues, in addition to the roundabout.

Kristen Dixon, general manager of infrastructure, will be on hand at Monday's meeting to assist with any questions council has as they discuss approving $3.16 million to undertake the project, aimed at calming and directing traffic at the troubled intersection.

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