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Column: Mayor answers queries around projects being worked on in Salmon Arm

Council Report by Mayor Alan Harrison
Fill is being removed from a 10th Ave. SW property, across from the Mall at Piccadilly, on Monday, Feb. 26, for the construction of a six-storey building proposed to include commercial space on the bottom floor and 140 rental units above. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Here is some information, regarding inquiries from Salmon Arm residents:

1. Why are the trees on the right of way of 10th Ave. SE, from five corners to the highway, being cut back?

This is a BC Hydro project. Hydro is rerouting the mainline from the power station at five corners. Presently, the main line runs north down 30th Street, through the intersection by Tim’s, all the way down, through Canoe and then on to Sicamous. The new route will run from the station east down 10th to 97B, then along 97B to Highway 1, and onto Sicamous from there.

2. What work is being done downtown on Ross Street?

This is an upgrade of storm and sanitary works. Storm water runs downhill from the Hillcrest area underneath Okanagan, then branches underneath Ross to the main storm outlet by the Prestige. The diameter of this pipe gets larger as storm water flows into the main, moving downhill. When the Ross Street Underpass was built, new larger storm drains were installed. Now the section of Ross is being upgraded and hooked in. While we are underground the east/west sanitary sewer main is also being replaced. When these areas are repaved, the Ross Street Parking lot will also be paved, as will Hudson from Ross up to 4th. The city is working with the local contractor and Downtown Salmon Arm to mitigate disruptions.

3. What is being built across from Piccadilly Mall?

WestUrban (a contractor from Campbell River), has renewed their development permit, and are removing the preload to start construction. Plans include underground parking, street level commercial with 140 units of market rental housing in the five stories above the commercial space. Much needed rental housing for our community.

4. When will the Ross Street Washrooms be reopened?

The renewal of the Ross Street Washrooms is being completed over the winter season. We anticipate the new washrooms being open in March.

5. Is the old Salmon River Bridge being removed?

When the Highway West project was planned, MOTI initially had planned to remove the old highway bridge and build a cul-de-sac just past DeMilles. We didn’t think that was a good idea for two reasons. First, we felt it was important to have connectivity along the frontage road from the Gleneden and Salmon Valley areas and second, we were concerned of the negative effect that might have on the businesses in that area. As a result, MOTI altered their plans and we negotiated to take over ownership of the bridge. A part of this negotiation was that the Province would upgrade the bridge. That is the work being completed now. We anticipate upgrades will be completed by March 31.

Thanks to residents for their inquiries. If you have questions my email is

Alan Harrison serves as mayor for the City of Salmon Arm.

Read more: Application for mixed-use building returning to Salmon Arm council

Read more: City of Salmon Arm to proceed with Ross Street Plaza washroom upgrades