A mix of steel panels will go in the centre of a roundabout to be constructed at the Highway 97A/Main Street intersection.

District budgets $300,000 for highway roundabout design

Mayor hopeful half or all of cost will be found from outside sources, not costing taxpayers.

Sicamous council has budgeted $300,000 for a sculptural concept to adorn the future roundabout on Highway 97A.

The concept was presented at last week’s council meeting. Designed by McElhanney Consulting Services, and funded by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure) the proposed roundabout sculpture includes a layered mix of rounded horizontal and vertical panels, animated by lighting. A report from McElhanney notes foreground panels can be used to display artworks, etc., and be replaced seasonally, or when special events are being promoted.

Four variations of the concept were presented to council, varying with the materials proposed for use. Construction costs for each range between $305,000 and $410,000 (plus GST and 20 to 30 per cent contingency). Council chose the least expensive, which includes panels of corten- and brushed-stainless steel.

About half of the budgeted cost is slated to come from general revenue, while Mayor Terry Rysz is hopeful the remainder (if not all) will be funded through grant money or other opportunities.

“Even though we’ve got it in the budget, the resources could come through possibly a grant or an association or regional district,” said Rysz. “I’m not expecting it to cost the taxpayer of Sicamous the full $300,000.”

Rysz said there’s opportunity for council to seek input from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, the Splatsin and other stakeholders so they too might be represented in the final design.

Earlier this year, the ministry announced it would be investing about $7 million into the construction of a roundabout at the 97A/Main Street intersection to improve traffic flow, as well as driver and pedestrian safety. The steel panels proposed for the roundabout will be arranged in such a way as to block sightlines, keeping drivers focused on the road ahead.

“That’s how the roundabouts work. You’re only supposed to look left, not anywhere else,” ministry project manager Rampaul Dulay explained at an open house. “That’s why you always see some kind of feature in the middle of the roundabout.”