McArthur Island road improvement work to begin next week

Upgrades to the McArthur Island ring road will begin next week, a two-year road rehabilitation project by the city that is expected to increase safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

The first phase of the project will cost $600,000 and include repaving along the river from the old BMX track, toward the boat launch.

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In addition, the city will replace an existing pathway with a wider, separated, three-metre wide multi-use pathway to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians.

City of Kamloops parks manager Jeff Putnam said the last time significant work was completed on McArthur Island’s ring road was more than 20 years ago.

“I think it will be really well-received,” Putnam said, noting the city experienced a significant amount of usage in the area throughout the pandemic, due to the city’s closure of the area to vehicular access for pedestrians and cyclists.

The ring road is set to reopen to vehicular traffic later this month alongside sports fields. At that time, a detour through the park will be provided for vehicles and pedestrians, as work on the road project gets underway.

Use of the multi-use pathway will be prohibited during work hours through mid-July, and fully closed, as work progresses into mid-August.

The project was approved by city council this week, after the city received federal gas tax money it was unsure it would receive, due to the pandemic.

The second phase of the ring road project, scheduled for next year, will expand rehabilitation further toward 12th Street, including the multi-use pathway.

The second phase is currently budgeted at about $300,000. However, Putnam said the numbers will be revisited next year.

When all is said and done, about two thirds of the ring road will be rehabilitated.

“This year, we’re doing the worst part,” Putnam said.

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