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Director says Westside Road is not the worst

An official is pleading with residents not to saddle Westside Road with the title of B.C.’s worst road.

The road on the west side of Okanagan Lake has claimed first place in BCAA’s top 10 worst roads survey two years in a row. And with the process underway again, director Jim Edgson fears another poor ranking will force Ministry of Transportation  crews to pack up and initiate projects elsewhere in B.C.

“If people are grateful and appreciative about the efforts, they (ministry) will carry on,” said the representative for North Westside.

Edgson insists that the ministry is aware of the need to continue with upgrades on the windy and narrow route and the BCAA ranking is not necessary.

“They’re not just sitting back and doing nothing. These guys have been efficient with funding and have made things happen.”

Among the actions taken by the ministry in the last few years are installing several pullouts for vehicles and improving conditions at two sharp corners.

A manager has also been named to oversee the planning and execution of road improvements.

“They only do that on major roads,” said Edgson.

While the BCAA surveys have focused media attention on Westside Road, Edgson says the Regional District of Central Okanagan and other groups have been pursuing ministry upgrades since 2003. Premier Christy Clark was lobbied directly in 2011.

“Money started to grow and they started to implement their plans. We had documentation and showed the problem was there,” said Edgson.

“People have to understand that there’s been a process in place since 2011 and it’s coming to fruition.”

Edgson still wants to see structural upgrades to the road occur, but he insists that a lot of what motorists complain about is a separate issue from major works.

“Potholes are not an improvement problem, it’s a maintenance problem.”

 

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