The City of Vernon is clearing up some potential confusion over the Stickle Road extension plan.
Rumblings have been heard from people who believed the original design plan called for a two-way road to be built as the extension to 20th Street, behind Rona.
But the city and Ministry of Transportation say the plan has always been for a one-way road, which is what is under construction at the south end of Highway 97 near Swan Lake and is expected to be finished in 2019.
The city said the plans for the Highway 97-Stickle Road Safety Improvement Project were always for a one-way connection from the Highway 97 frontage road to the City of Vernon road network.
“When development occurs in this area 20th Street will be extended to connect with Pleasant Valley Road (known as the 20th Street Extension),” said city communications officer Nick Nilsen. “As the ministry was aware of this proposed extension, they asked if they could construct a portion of it and connect it to the Highway 97 Frontage Road (the 20th Street Connection) to provide an alternate route for the low volume of traffic that will no longer be permitted to turn left out of Stickle Road onto Highway 97.”
Nilsen said due to the engineering and geotechnical challenges of constructing a road in two phases at this location the ministry project is constructing the ultimate creek crossing and road base but is only paving one southbound travel lane and one pedestrian shoulder.
“When the details of the future development are known including the size, type and location of the buildings, accesses and utilities etc., the developer will construct the 20th Street Extension and the 20th Street Connection will be altered to intersect with 20th Street and the second travel lane will be paved at that time to service that development,” said Nilsen.
The Ministry of Transportation confirmed in an e-mail to The Morning Star it is constructing a one-way stretch of the road within the city boundaries, added to the project in October 2016, and expected to be finished next year.
“Preload work is ongoing on the 20th Street extension, which will connect to the south end of the existing Stickle frontage road,” said the ministry. “This portion of the project is expected to be completed in fall 2019, subject to settlement of soft soils.
“The 20th Street extension is a city street, and this single-lane in the southbound direction was added to the project in the early stages of design to replace the loss of the southbound turning movement at the Stickle Road intersection.”
The ministry said following a May 2016 open house, the design was modified in October 2016 to include the one-way southbound connection, and that “the road footprint and sub-base construction for the 20th Street extension is designed to accommodate the future expansion of the municipal road should development in the area increase.”