Salmon Arm’s future holds roundabouts, at least three of them.
The city is hiring an engineering firm to design three roundabouts, each of them priced at $70,000.
At council’s Sept. 22 meeting, city staff requested changes to the 2022 to 2026 Financial Plan, changes which replaced a previously planned roundabout with another, and evened out the cost for all three.
Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s director of engineering and public works, explained that three roundabout projects had been approved previously. One of them was at the intersection of Shuswap Street and 10th Avenue SE.
A few years ago a four-way stop was installed there, at the bottom of what’s known as Shoemaker Hill, the steep hill with a sharp bend that’s closed in the winter to all traffic and closed year-round to large trucks.
“With the design of the Auto Road Connector, that particular intersection will not be as heavily impacted by traffic in the future,” Niewenhuizen said, referring to the connector that’s intended to funnel through-traffic coming from the Hillcrest area away from 10th Avenue. “And so we’re asking for that project to be taken out and replaced with 14th Avenue SE and Shuswap Street, which will be the termination point of the new Auto Road Connector which will obviously have more traffic. So we’ll have a design for a roundabout there.”
A second roundabout planned would sit at the intersection of 10th Street and 5th Avenue SW, near Kal Tire and Bowers Funeral Home.
A third would be at the intersection of 11th Avenue and 30th Street NE, near Setters Neighbourhood Pub and McDonald’s restaurant.
Because the cost estimate for designing each roundabout differed in the initial budgeting plan, staff’s request included rearranging funding so the budget for each roundabout design is equal at $70,000.
Mayor Alan Harrison summarized what was being requested.
“The roundabout design at Shuswap and 10th, we’re going to take that one out and apply (the funds) to 14th and Shuswap, which is really 14th and Foothill Road at the very top there, which is where the Auto street connector is going to come through.
“It’s not saying that one of the other two (roundabouts) is more important than one another, it’s evening out the budget so they can both be done.”
Design of the three projects was awarded to the low bidder, McElhanney Ltd., for $184,536.00 plus taxes. Staff expect the designs, complete with construction cost estimates, will be complete by the end of June 2023. At that time, staff will determine the priority for each location and construction budget.
Niewenhuizen said a lot of factors will determine which is constructed first, such as cost, complexity, land acquisition, site challenges and more.
“I suspect that it will take some time before we have sufficient funds to construct the first roundabout.”
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