The City of Revelstoke wants to have the intersection at Victoria Road and the Trans-Canada Highway fixed by the winter of 2016, but first it needs to find a solution that will be happy to all the stakeholders.
“Generally what I’ve found is none of the options we’ve looked at so far have provided an excellent outcome for all the stakeholders,” said Mike Thomas, the director of engineering, during an update provided to council at its July 14 meeting.
As has been the case most summers in recent memory, the intersection has become chaotic at times as drivers try to make the left turn to get to McDonald’s, Tim Hortons, or A&W. At the busiest times, on summer long weekends, the local businesses have contracted people to conduct traffic control.
“From recent discussions and from observations, the need may be even exceeding that,” said Thomas.
In fact, he said, the average summer highway traffic went up 14 per cent between 2004 and 2014.
Thomas said he’s come up with several designs that he’s passed on to the Ministry of Transportation. Some were rejected quickly, while others made their way up through the bureaucracy, he said.
The city has budgeted $50,000 this year to hire a contractor to design the intersection. A key aspect of that work will be consulting with the public and key stakeholders on a design that will ideally satisfy everyone. Unfortunately, it won’t be easy to please everyone.
One solution that was proposed a few years ago in the draft transportation plan was a system of roundabouts — one at Victoria Road and Wright Street, and the other at Laforme Boulevard and the Chevron station. The plan would include blocking off left-turn access to McDonald’s, A&W and the Shell Station. It’s a solution that satisfies the Ministry of Transportation, but not the businesses.
Thomas said community and stakeholder consultation is the most critical part of the design process.
“The actual design, once we’ve come up with a couple of concepts, is relatively easy,” he said. “We want to get the best possible solution for the best dollar value that we can.”
The goal is to have a design created this year, with construction to begin after Labour Day weekend 2016.
How much this will cost the city depends on how much they can get from grant funding, and what ends up being contributed from Development Cost Charges. Right now the city has budgeted $500,000 to complete the work next year.
“I’m expecting we’ll have a firmer estimate available for around the time we’re passing the 2016 budget,” Thomas said.