Township approves bridges and another rail crossing

Some big bucks are being spent on infrastructure in Spallumcheen.

Council has approved repairs to the McCallan Road bridge, replacement of the Stepney Road bridge and installation of a new concrete rail crossing on Larkin Cross Road.

“These are big ticket items and we have to fix them because of public safety,” said Mayor Janice Brown.

Staff will proceed with a request for proposal to complete repairs to the McCallan Road bridge and proceed with the repairs not to exceed $33,000 before Aug. 31.

“It only serves one house but we have to do that,” said Brown.

Also on the agenda is replacement of the Stepney Road bridge.

The original estimate for the work was $312,000 but the amount will be reviewed after a detailed design. The project will go to tender in January, with construction expected next summer.

“These are old bridges,” said Greg Betts, chief administrative officer, of the McCallan and Stepney bridges.

“The estimates came in a little more than anticipated so we decided to stage them.”

The township is also moving ahead this year with a new concrete rail crossing on Larkin Cross Road at a cost of $20,000.

“Canadian National Railway has advised the township that due to safety concerns as a result of substandard work completed by Kelowna Pacific Railway in 2011, it will be replacing the rails, ballast and ties at the rail crossing,” said Ed Forslund, public works manager.

“CN has further noted that the existing rubber crossing is damaged and cannot be reinstalled. Staff and CN agree that the best crossing material for Larkin Cross Road is concrete because of its heavy use.”

Township staff were not aware of concerns about the railway crossing until recently so the project was not part of the 2014 budget. The $20,000 will come from the contingency fund.

“CN Rail has agreed to provide the township with adequate notice of future upgrades, enabling staff to include these projects in our annual budget process,” said Forslund.

Brown admits that its projects like these that impact township finances and property taxes.

“We’re trying to be more vocal about what we spend money on,” she said.


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