Bend Road should be closed as part of a re-configuration of Revelstoke’s Trans-Canada Highway intersection, says a new report by ICBC.
The recommendation comes as the City of Revelstoke prepares to issue a tender for the construction of the new intersection.
“Our site observations identified very little traffic using Bend Road east of the Shell/Tim Hortons access,” wrote ICBC’s David Dean, a road safety engineer, and Paul de Leur, the road improvement program manager, in a letter to the city. “The preferred suggestion that we intend to include in the upcoming report will be to close Bend Road east of the access. If that is not possible, we will be suggesting that Bend Road at least be restricted to eastbound movements only.”
McElhanney Consulting, the firm hired to re-design the intersection, proposed a design that included building a roundabout at Wright Street and Victoria Road, while blocking left turns into the Shell/Tim Hortons, and out of the Woodenhead Loop.
Closing Bend Road was an initial element of the new intersection design, however council asked for it to remain open following feedback from residents and area businesses. At the time, McElhanney said they had no issues with the change.
On Monday, June 20, the ICBC officials visited the site with city staff and an engineer from McElhanney as part of a safety review of the proposed design.
While their report hasn’t been completed, their initial findings were sent to the city Friday morning.
“Severe sight line angles and sight obstructions at the intersection of Bend Road with the Shell/Tim Hortons access from Victoria Road create a high potential for right angle collisions,” Dean and de Leur wrote. “At this point we have concluded that from a safety perspective these two movements cannot occur without a high probability of conflict.”
A staff report by Mike Thomas, the city’s director of engineering, recommends council heed ICBC’s advice and close off Bend Road. He added council could wait for ICBC to complete their detailed report, but that would delay construction until next spring and it could create liability issues and lead to the loss of funding.
“It is recommended that council not choose to proceed against ICBC’s forthcoming design recommendations,” wrote Thomas. “Funding and support from ICBC would not be an option if council proceeded with a design that went against their results of the ICBC review.”
Council is set to discuss the report on Tuesday, June 28. Should they go to tender, the bid documents would be published on June 30, a contract would be awarded in July, and construction on the roundabout would take place in October, with the remaining works built next spring.
The estimated cost of the project is $1,711,100. The city has budgeted $1.2 million and would need to come up with money to cover the extra costs.
Todd Stone, the BC Minister of Transportation, said the province would contribute funding but would not say how much.
“The province will be there as a partner on this. that’s not in question,” he said. “We’ll have to have that in-depth funding discussion once we have the final design.”