Facebook                                 The final phase of the long-awaited John Hindle Drive in Kelowna is complete.

Facebook The final phase of the long-awaited John Hindle Drive in Kelowna is complete.

Kelowna’s John Hindle Drive to open Friday

$12 million road will be open to traffic at 2 p.m. says transportation ministry

The long wait is finally over.

John Hindle Drive, which will connect Glenmore with the UBC Okanagan campus, Highway 97 and the Kelowna Airport, opened to vehicles Friday at 2 p.m.

While there was no ceremony for the moment barriers went down, the City of Kelowna will hold a ceremony to mark the opening Sept. 7. While the road was built by the province as a provision of its funding for the project, it will be handed over the city now that it is complete.

Related: Long-awaited John Hindle Drive in Kelowna just weeks away from completion

The final 1.8-kilometre stretch between the landfill entrance and Alumni Avenue near UBC Okanagan campus cost $12 million and includes a new traffic signal and intersection at Upper Campus Way and Academy Way, as well as a 2.8-kilometres multi-use path that the city built for cyclists and pedestrians between Glenmore Road and Hollywood Road.

Two weeks ago, when the ministry confirmed the road would be open before the start of the new school year, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran hailed the news, saying in addition to opening a new route to the university and the airport, it would also help relieve traffic congestion on Highway 97, particularly at the intersection with Sexsmith Road.

“I think it will really help at several (traffic) pinch points,” said Basran, who noted the city has already approved transit changes to take advantage of the new road once it opens.

John Hindle Drive, envisioned years ago by the city, has taken much longer to build then was anticipated, in large part because of many delays associated with funding the project.

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