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Letters  

Concern over access

I would like to put forward my great concern regarding the condition of and access to the Whiteman's Creek Bridge on Westside Road.

I have been a resident of the Westside for six years.

Whiteman's Creek bridge has seen several repairs over my time here, and I am concerned that repair and access to the bridge is currently being deliberately halted to the detriment of the Westside Road community.

I have heard from community members that the bridge has been reduced to single-lane traffic to ensure heavy vehicles don't use it while it is in disrepair.

Recently, at least two community members have spoken to the road crew and have been informed that the bridge will not be repaired this summer. In addition, the owner of the bridge may close it at any time.

This is upsetting news for many reasons. First of all, Westside Road is a dangerous road. If a community member who works in Vernon, Armstrong, or other nearby community uses the route from Whiteman's Creek Bridge to Highway 97, if the bridge is closed, he/she would have to backtrack and drive to Kelowna and then up to Vernon.

This is an unreasonable commute.

If the owner is considering closing it but without warning or a promise to repair the road, how would emergency services during the fire season get through efficiently?

There are also many retired seniors and families that live on the Westside who rely on emergency medical services and food services.

Our local politicians should investigate what is happening and determine who is ultimately responsible for ensuring that residents as well as visitors have safe, reliable passage.

I understand that the solution would likely involve both the OKIB and the province, but please, can this be looked into in a timely fashion?

Penelope Cavanagh, Westside



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