Lake Country asking for provincial help on two intersections

With councillors gathered at UBCM, lobbying efforts underway to deal with Highway 97 issues through Lake Country

Lake Country council is asking the province to build a pedestrian overpass at this intersection of Highway 97 and Oceola.

Lake Country council is asking the province to build a pedestrian overpass at this intersection of Highway 97 and Oceola.

Lake Country Council met with Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone about two key Lake Country intersections on day three of the annual UBCM conference in Victoria.

Councillors from around the province are gathered at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Victoria and Lake Country politicians are using the time to work the government on getting some help for the intersections of Highway 97 and Glenmore/Beaver Lake Road, and Highway 97 and Oceola.

“Anyone who regularly travels through Lake Country is familiar with the regular and lengthy traffic back-ups at the Glenmore Road intersection at Highway 97,” read a press release from Lake Country. “In the mid-2000’s Lake Country and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure completed planning work for the intersection and confirmed that moving it south of its current location would provide a long-term solution; improving capacity, safety and the flow of traffic. At UBCM today Council asked the province to advance the project and begin construction of the intersection improvement.”

At a recent Lake Country council meeting, Lake Country infrastructure services director Greg Buchholz said the district’s future plans include a partial re-alignment of Okanagan Centre Road West and Glenmore Road. Those plans would align with a future plan to move the Highway 97/Glenmore intersection southward.

“This is a very costly project and will have to be led by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure,” said Buchholz of the Highway 97 intersection at Glenmore and Beaver Lake Road. “Until they come to the table and provide a long term solution for this, we will continue to have these problems. The ministry is doing a Central Okanagan planning study and we are really trying to say this is the bottleneck on Highway 97 and deserves some immediate attention. Maybe they will see the light on it and proceed sooner rather than later.”

The second item council discussed with Minister Todd Stone is the crossing at Highway 97 and Oceola Road.

“This is a major crossing point for the community and used by people of all ages and abilities,” said the release. “With a speed limit of 70 km/hr, cyclists, pedestrians and wheelchair users find it dangerous and troubling to cross safely. When the new Highway 97 relocation project was underway, the Ministry included many features to accommodate active transportation.”

According to the DLC, at today’s meeting council asked the ministry to build a pedestrian overpass at Highway 97 and Oceola, which, based on current road design, is the best solution to provide a safe pedestrian crossing.