Infrastructure on agenda

Vernon council has received a review of the city’s asset management program

Vernon officials are trying to maintain key infrastructure while keeping costs manageable.

Council has received a review of the city’s asset management program, which was first developed in 2011/12.

“We have a lot of old infrastructure built in the 1950s and 1960s and they are getting near the end of their life,” said Mark Dowhaniuk, infrastructure engineer.

“But we have been doing a lot of renewal recently. There’s a bunch of new infrastructure that should be good for awhile.”

The city has $800 million worth of assets, with the largest chunk being $376 million for roads.

If the current road network were to be rebuilt and maintained, the city would need about $8.4 million a year to move ahead.

Recommendations from the integrated transportation framework generate between $6.3 and $6.9 million.

As has been previously reported, some of the potential cost saving initiatives include replacing fewer sidewalks, reclassifying roads for maintenance, using alternate road construction techniques and reducing lane widths from 3.5 to 3.25 metres.

“We will take a little heat on the shrinking of roads,” said Coun. Brian Quiring.

However, Coun. Juliette Cunningham believes some positive trends could occur.

“In many progressive communities around the world, they look at what’s best for cyclists, pedestrians and transit and what’s best for vehicles is way down the list,” she said.

As part of the process, the city is considering changes to long-term population and traffic volume forecasts.

“We will take a look at existing roads not built to expectations,” said Ed Stranks, acting engineering director, adding that previous plans called for Kalamalka Lake Road to be five lanes.

Besides roads, the city is looking at asset management for all infrastructure, including sewer, parks, bridges and facilities.

“We will look at ways to save money with each one of them,” said Dowhaniuk.