Left to right are Mayor James Baker

Highway realignment underway

The local politicians responsible for securing funding for the highway realignment between Oyama and Winfield met Friday afternoon at an official groundbreaking ceremony for the project.

The local politicians responsible for securing funding for the highway realignment between Oyama and Winfield met Friday afternoon at an official groundbreaking ceremony for the project. MP Ron Cannan and MLA Norm Letnick were joined by Mayor James Baker at the Winfield end of the project where they gave a few words before turning the soil on the new highway.

When the project is completed drivers can look forward to a much less hazardous route.

“With increased capacity, mobility, and reliability comes a more fundamental improvement: safety. Visitors and commuters alike will appreciate a much faster and safer drive,” said Letnick.

Letnick went on to give credit to his political predecessors, Al Horning and John Weisbeck who first brought the deadly stretch of highway to the attention of the Ministry of Transportation.

Cannan says that the construction will create almost 250 jobs over the lifetime of the project. When it’s completed it will serve as a boon to trade and tourism in the region.

Baker noted that the relocation of the highway is also beneficial to the protection of the Wood Lake fishery.

The cost of the highway is budgeted at $77.7 million. The province is paying for $44.3 million and the Federal government is covering the remainder.

Windley Contracting has the contract to the project with a completion date in the summer of 2013. The realignment will tie back into Highway 97 at Evans Road in Oyama and at Oceola Road in Winfield.

Upon completion the existing highway along Wood Lake will be transferred from the Ministry of Transportation to the District of Lake Country. Preliminary planning discussions around the municipal council table suggest that the road will be turned into a pedestrian-friendly recreation corridor.

Just Posted

Iconic rock photographer Bob Gruen to exhibit work in Kelowna

Gruen’s portfolio includes John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, among many others.

Kelowna car thief’s sentencing delayed

Stanley Nickason pleaded guilty car theft charges in B.C. Supreme Court

Alleged impaired driver flips car near Lake Country

The incident happened early Friday morning

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry supply

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Okanagan resident’s alleged stolen dog found safe

Nicholas Bozak thanks the public for finding his 17 month old mastiff chow

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Survivorship Dragon Boat Team wins in Vernon

Team takes top spot in A division at festival

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

RDOS contributes funds to arts centre workshop

South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society wants input into proposed facility

World-famous sopranos to hold concert in Okanagan

Two Canadian sopranos are bringing their world-famous voices to the Okanagan for one night only

Summerland Fall Fair to include zucchini race

Event is in honour of bobsleigh athlete Justin Kripps

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Most Read