Trail council sticks with gateway feature plan

Downtown Trail will not be illuminated in lights this year, but Victoria Street will be framed with gateways features.

Downtown Trail will not be illuminated in lights this year, but Victoria Street will be framed with gateways features, according to a decision Trail council members made during the Monday governance meeting.

Earlier this month, council was approached by the Downtown Opportunities and Action Committee (DOAC), a community group that proposed a bridge lighting plan be considered this year over the installation of sizeable gateway features at opposite ends of Victoria Street.

Mike Martin, DOAC chair, pitched the novel idea to council citing that themed bridge lighting would add immediate visual impact to downtown, and the gateway pillars could get lost in city landscape.

However, in order to cover the $390,000 cost to light up the Victoria Street Bridge, the group proposed that the current plan to install the four arched gateways be deferred or cancelled all together.

“It’s more about finishing what we started,” explained Larry Abenante, city works manager. “We want to complete the projects that are underway and expected to be completed by June,” he said. “Once we finish the pedestrian crossing that we plan to light a certain way, that look will be carried over to the new bridge sometime down the road.”

When deciding the benefits or disadvantages of changing the downtown plan to include bridge lighting, the city consulted David James, a landscape architect from MMM Group, a Kelowna firm that designed the revitalization plan.

He maintained the gateways are designed with the intent of attracting people day and night into the downtown core, whereas bridge lighting would have impact only at night and actual vantage points to view the light show, are limited.

Additionally, the city has secured the firm price, $363,000 from Hil-Tech Construction for the supply and installation of the four features and has acquired the necessary permits from the Ministry of Transportation.

Although the bridge lighting proposal was put on the back burner, it will be considered “in principal” during 2014 capital budget talks.

Further funding will be required to ascertain engineering requirements pertaining to how the lights would be affixed to the bridge and permitting from the MOT, explained David Perehudoff, Trail’s chief administrative officer. “Rather than looking at the conversion of funding council can set this as a separate priority,” he said. “That provides opportunity for the DOAC to take action and work with an engineering study and their commitment to fundraise for the project.”

Council decided the city will fund 50 per cent of the bridge lighting project, which will have to be taken into consideration in future years, said Perehudoff.

“Raising the priority of the project by setting the wheels in motion will likely impact Phase 3 of the downtown plan,” he continued. “But it’s not going to have a significant impact this year.”

Next on the board, was council’s decision to award a three-year line painting contract to a Kelowna company, which includes updating the standards of the city’s road and crosswalk markings to conform with current ICBC standards.

“One item that will be very noticeable to vehicle traffic and pedestrians will be the painting of 110 new zebra crosswalks replacing standard crosswalks with twin parallel lines,” Perehudoff explained. “Zebra crosswalks are required on all crosswalks that have no traffic lights or stop signs.”

The contract includes 255 crosswalks, 21 kilometres of centre line, 855 parking stalls, 28 handicap symbols and 60 traffic arrows.

Council authorized just over $50,000 to Aardvark Pavement Markings this year, and almost $96,000 yearly until 2016 to complete the job.