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Stimulus funds drive busy building season
Aug. 11, 2010
Unprecedented number of building projects in Kelowna
Commuters caught in traffic delays have lots of time to wonder why there are so many construction projects happening around town this summer.

A historically unprecedented number of complex, interconnected building projects are affecting almost every neighbourhood in Kelowna this summer. Some neighbourhoods are even being hit with a double-whammy of projects, such as the Mission area dealing with major construction projects on Gordon Drive and Lakeshore Road.

There are two basic reasons for all this disruptive road work. Funding is the main reason projects such as the Gordon Drive bridge replacement project and the Lakeshore Road Multi-Use Corridor are happening simultaneously. Weather is the second reason every road project tends to happen at once.

"The summer is always a busy time for road work, since operations such as paving require certain temperatures to be effective. This summer is exceptionally busy due to success in attracting stimulus funds," says Purvez Irani, Road, Drainage & Solid Waste Projects Manager.

"We received an unprecedented $23 million in federal/provincial infrastructure stimulus funds," says Mayor Sharon Shepherd, "plus we contributed another $14.6 million from our reserve funds to get projects done that would have otherwise taken many years to accomplish."

And, as Mayor Shepherd remarked at Monday's city council meeting, the federal government has said "use it or lose it." Funding commitments will be withdrawn if these projects are not completed by March 2011, so there is additional motivation to get these jobs done.

On the plus side, more infrastructure work will be done in Kelowna this summer than at any time in recent history and at the lowest possible local tax impact to local residents.

The City of Kelowna and its contractors thank residents and visitors for their patience and understanding as this work progresses. Commuters can visit kelowna.ca/roadreport to view the ‘Roads Daily Update' for the latest information on road construction projects and potential delays.