Things are about to get safer around the South Okangan Events Centre.
Regional district directors heard Thursday that a new crosswalk was going to be put in on Alberni Street at Highway 97, the block directly west of the events centre. The crosswalk would include a pedestrian activated flashing amber light.
“We will build an island that separates the four lanes of traffic. There will be a refuge area, so there would be some fencing. So when you activate the light on either side it stops the traffic on those two lanes and then you get on the island and you press the button and it stops the traffic for the next two lanes instead of stopping all four lanes of traffic,” Jeff Wiseman from the Ministry Transportation and Infrastructure Penticton Area office.
The pedestrian activated light will replace a crosswalk that was put in on Comox Street, which is a block farther west from events centre.
“The reality is i’m surprised we’ve not seen any fatals there because the rush out of that building when a show is over is quite scary sometimes,” Jake Kimberley, a Penticton director said.
Wiseman called the crosswalk “the bane of his existence,” telling directors a Penticton resident is in constant contact with him over the crosswalk and the project keeps being moved back.
Wisemean said the decision to move the crosswalk was made several years ago, design, electrical and survey work was completed. Then a request to put a hotel came in that would need access where the crosswalk was proposed to be put in. The hotel did not go in, then there was talks of a parking lot, and then possibly again another hotel.
“We’ve done this circle I don’t know how many times and I swear i’m going not going to retire until that GD thing is built,” he said to laughter from the directors.
The crosswalk is one of several large capital projects slated to be completed in the 2019 year by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Other projects include:
resurfacing and resealing several sections of Highway 3 near Princeton, fill near Clark Side Road on Highway 3 near Princeton, Pioneer Park upgrades in Kaleden, and ongoing work on flood repair to roads damaged during the 2017/2018 flood season.
Projects that were finished in 2018 include:
Hedley bridge replacement, guardrail installation on Highway 5A, storm system upgrade in Osoyoos and bumpouts in Keremeos.
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