The proposed extension of Clement Avenue. (City of Kelowna)

Second bridge across Okanagan Lake ‘unlikely’ because of $1 billion price tag

Highway 33 extension plans are being scaled back due to cost

Plans for a second bridge over Okanagan Lake and a freeway alternative along Kelowna’s north end are unlikely after city planners described the project as “prohibitively expensive” in a report headed to council on Monday.

According to the report, the price tag to build a second bridge over the lake has jumped by more than $300 million and would likely exceed $1 billion.

“A freeway bypass of Kelowna and the Westside, including a second crossing of Okanagan Lake, was estimated to be roughly $700 million in 2006. It is likely that the full realization of the historical vision would be well in excess of $1 billion today,” states the report.

“The work undertaken by the Ministry of Transportation’s Central Okanagan Planning Study to date points strongly towards increasing the people-moving capacity of the existing corridor.”

READ MORE: ‘A traffic jam like you’ve never seen’: Kelowna resident concerned over future development

While a second bridge may no longer be viable, the prospect of a Highway 33 extension isn’t completely dead in the water.

The highway extension was initially proposed in 2007 as an alternative to Highway 97, connecting UBCO on the east side of the city to a second bridge, however, according to the report that plan posed “significant challenges.”

One of those challenges was the fact that only 13 per cent of traffic on the William R. Bennett Bridge passes through the city without stopping, undermining the need for a full bypass and second bridge.

The revised plan now indicates it may be more realistic to build an arterial roadway connecting Clement Avenue to McCurdy Road instead of the high-speed freeway with interchanges that was initially envisioned in the first plan. Clement Avenue currently ends at Spall Road.

READ MORE: Minster says Highway 97 study is on hold

According to the new plan, the proposed road would run parallel to the Rail Trail, which was recently completed by the city. If the plan moves forward the city would have to relocate its bus facility.

“The scope of work includes a four-lane connection between Spall Road and Highway 33, with at-grade intersections at Spall, Dilworth, and Enterprise. The most recent cost estimate for these works is $57 million,” states the report.

Buying the land needed for the project’s second phase to extend Clement from Highway 33 to McCurdy would require another $1.1 million in land acquisition by the city. The revised project would cost significantly less than the initial proposal.

The entire plan will be given to city council on Monday, Oct. 28.


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New restaurant set to open across Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Diner Deluxe has had some setbacks, including a pandemic, but they’re ready to welcome guests

Central Okanagan school buses to remain parked through the summer

The board of education made the decision to nix bus services on Wednesday

Motor trike crashes into hole in Ellison area

A man was taken to hospital after crashing his trike on Anderson Road

Playgrounds to reopen across the Okanagan on June 1

After nearly two months closure, playgrounds are set to reopen

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Flood watch for Salmon River upgraded as high temperatures, rain forecast

Shuswap Emergency Program warns residents to prepare now for possible extreme flooding

Partial return to class for Central Okanagan students: COVID-19

School District 23 and the Board of Education have released a letter regarding returning to class

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

RCMP request public’s help in locating missing Salmon Arm man

Ken Derkach is a familiar face to many, one of the city’s residents who is without a home

Booze on Kelowna beaches? Mayor says ‘not at the moment’

Mayor Colin Basran says alcohol in public spaces is not on council’s radar right now — but that could change

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Most Read