Letnick: Winfield-Oyama highway update

In my last quarterly construction update, I compared a highway upgrading project to an iceberg. I can’t think of a more appropriate analogy.

In my last quarterly construction update, I compared a highway upgrading project to an iceberg, in that the vast majority of work is behind the scenes. I still can’t think of a more appropriate analogy.

My goal with these updates is to make sure residents see “under the surface” on the project to upgrade Highway 97 between Winfield and Oyama.

Nobody enjoys traffic delays due to construction, but hopefully that frustration is eased if you know more about the project and its progress.

The Winfield-Oyama project involves constructing a nine-kilometre four-lane highway west of the existing two-lane section of Highway 97 between the two Lake Country communities. Construction began on May 28, 2011 and is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2013.

As of May, total construction was  almost halfway completed.

Drilling, blasting, excavations and embankment construction is underway.

The scope of this project is vast and has involved huge amounts of material.

Consider this: over 1,000,000 cubic metres of material have been excavated, moved and placed in embankments to date – which represents approximately 50 per cent of the total quantities on this project.

That includes about 470,000 cubic metres of rock and 600,000 cubic metres of soils.

As you may have noticed, construction on several of the overpasses is underway.

The Gatzke Road Overpass is approximately 60 per cent complete; the Woods Lake Overpass is approximately 40 per cent complete; and the Recreational Underpasses for Old Mission Road and Lake Country Access are approximately 80 per cent complete.

As you may recall, the $40.83 million construction contract was awarded to Nanaimo’s Windley Contracting (2010) Ltd. on March 25, 2011.

The overall project budget is $77.9 million, with a $33.6 million contribution from the federal government under the Building Canada Plan.

Construction on all phases and aspects of the project will continue until the expected completion next year.

As always, if you have any questions or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me via my constituency office, or via social media on Facebook or Twitter.

Norm Letnick is the Liberal MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country.