Lake Country, province have general agreement on Pelmewash Parkway

Deal to hand-over control of old Highway 97 still needs to go through legalities but much progress has been made

A cyclist along Wood Lake next to Pelmewash Parkway.

A cyclist along Wood Lake next to Pelmewash Parkway.

It appears construction on Pelmewash Parkway won’t take place until 2018 at the earliest, however the District of Lake Country says it has made a lot of progress towards an agreement with the Ministry of Transportation on the transfer of the old Highway 97 to Lake Country control.

Lake Country chief administrative officer Alberto De Feo says the district and the provincial government have a “general agreement” for the transfer of Pelmewash to the district.

“We are still working out the details,” said De Feo. “The good news is that we have made much progress but we are still ironing out some of the details.”

De Feo said the district is waiting on a draft legal agreement from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on the transfer agreement and noted that the legal transfer process can take some time and he doesn’t expect any work on Pelmewash to take place in 2017.

“I can say that we are not going to pave Pelmewash in 2017 because the legal transfer process takes quite a bit, however we hope to possibly have a design done in 2017 with a construction time in 2018. All this is still to be defined.”

When the province opened the new Highway 97 in August of 2013, it announced it would hand over the stretch of old highway to Lake Country, which had renamed it Pelmewash Parkway the year before.

The district also held six months of public consultation beginning in 2013 and hired a consultant to put together a development plan for the stretch of road. The consultant’s report put the high-end figure for development of Pelmewash Parkway as high as $13 million, however no firm plans have ever been approved by Lake Country.

Negotiations for the hand-over of the highway have been ongoing since shortly after the opening of the new highway with rock scaling work and improvements to the road being a major sticking point in the talks.