Road closure shortened for businesses

Road closure shortened for businesses

The City of Vernon is proceeding with upgrades to Kalamalka Lake Road

Some Vernon businesses are still infuriated that their main link to customers will be shut down.

City council approved a plan Monday that will see Kalamalka Lake Road, from Brown Road to the Coldstream border, shut down for six to eight weeks for upgrades instead of the originally scheduled 12 to 16 weeks this year.

“I’m going to go through some tough times,” said Dave Straughan, with Uncle Dave’s Pizza.

“Am I going to lay off eight people? It could happen.”

Some of the Alpine Centre tenants were not impressed with the council debate.

“They sit there like we don’t even exist. Maybe we should forget about paying taxes,” said Andrea Sanzana, with Mission Accomplished Ministries.

Many of the businesses called for 24-hour construction to shorten the length of the project and the road closure.

The only support for that concept came from Coun. Scott Anderson.

“We have to go beyond the bottom line and look for a solution that works even if it costs a little more,” he said.

However, it was pointed out that 24-hour construction would negatively impact residents in the area.

City staff had proposed a construction period of 12 to 16 weeks with Kal Lake Road closed for that entire time. However, council decided instead to a construction period of 20 to 24 weeks with alternating traffic, although the road will be closed for six to eight weeks. The single, alternating traffic will increase the $3 million project budget by $279,500.

“This is a hard one because it impacts the livelihood of small businesses. We want to do what’s best for the businesses,” said Coun. Dalvir Nahal.

Mayor Akbal Mund voted for alternating traffic, but expressed some concerns about potential traffic jams.

“People won’t be going in (to the businesses) because the traffic is backed up for 25 minutes. If we closed the road, there would be easy access from both sides because there won’t be long lines,” he said.