Accidents that occur at Lake Country’s busiest intersection on Highway 97 can back up traffic for hours. (File photo)

Lake Country traffic bottleneck solution still lacks funding

No money committed yet but province will unveil solution options for Highway 97- Beaver Lake Road-Glenmore Road intersection this fall

A plan to upgrade the most traffic-overwhelmed intersection in Lake Country can be expected sometime this fall, according to B.C.’s provincial transportation minister.

Claire Trevena says the plan to fix the Glenmore Road, Beaver Lake Road and Highway 97 intersection will offer medium- and long-term solutions, but there is no money commitment at this point.

Trevena was responding in the B.C. Legislature during a Question Period session Thursday morning (July 9) to questions posed by Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick on the status of the project.

Letnick asked if a three-year capital plan had been set aside for the project, but Trevena said any funding will be set out in the next provincial government budget for 2021-22.

Read more: Residents offer input on problematic intersection improvements

Read more: Lake Country won’t see intersection upgrade plan

Letnick noted the project has been under the public consultation and study stage for the past three years.

“We have been studying it for a couple of years,” Trevena told the legislature. “We’re not doing the study just for the fun of it. We are doing it because it is, obviously, serious work.”

Trevena said when the study comes out, its recommendations will be matched against other highway improvements priorities both across the province and within the region.

“We’ll see if the government is serious about going through with whatever plan we are showed in the fall,” Letnick told the Lake Country Calendar in an interview after Thursday’s Question Period.

“But it’s something that people want to know about.”

Lake Country Mayor James Baker said the desire to upgrade the intersection remains a high priority for the district.

“The minister has talked with us about alleviating the congestion along the (Kelowna-Lake Country) corridor but that is a separate issue from providing an immediate fix to that intersection.

“The government can plan out over how to improve the corridor over the next 20 years but that corner is a separate project that needs to be addressed.”

While Baker said he is happy to see Letnick raising the issue on the district’s behalf in the legislature, he said no direct talks with the transportation ministry officials are occurring for the moment.

He said it remains an ongoing concern that when accidents happen in or near that intersection, the north-south flow of traffic comes to a standstill.

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