Roads & Bridges
Pedestrian overpass in downtown Kelowna proceeding amidst inflated costs
August 30, 2023 By Rock to Road Staff
KELOWNA, B.C. – At an Aug. 28 meeting, Kelowna city council decided to move forward with a $12.1 million pedestrian overpass in the city’s downtown, despite increased costs above initial projections.
The overpass is set to link the Central Green development at Harvey Avenue and Richter Street. The project dates back to 2011, when the city reached a legal agreement with the province’s Ministry of Transportation to build the overpass once the Central Green development reached a pre-determined density level due to safety concerns.
The project is designed to meet current accessibility standards and will feature ramps with a maximum grade of five per cent, in addition to improved surfacing and lighting compared to other pedestrian overpasses in the area.
Votes for approving the project were split, stemming from the cost of the overpass rising significantly from its projected $5.5 million budget in 2021. Ultimately, Kelowna’s mayor, Tom Dyas, proved to be the deciding vote.
Bids were initially put out in 2021, but the project was paused after all bids came back over the projected budget. Despite inflation pushing up the cost even further since then, the city plans to use a design-build approach that it claims will save money compared to what the standard cost of the project would otherwise be.
City staff said that they have already set aside $4.4 million for the project, with an additional $7.2 million for the project to be provided through grants from the province’s Growing Communities Fund and $500,000 to be transferred from other transportation project savings.
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