Letnick: Have your say on Central Okanagan road network

Highway 97 is the busiest route in the Interior and Hwy 97 from UBCO to Lake Country sees approximately 30,000 vehicles per day.

People often ask me why I decided to re-enter public life, and one incident usually comes to mind—the death of a pedestrian standing at a Kelowna street corner waiting to cross the road. The incident may have happened 10 years ago, but it’s never far from my mind. It’s why the safety of my constituents is one of my highest priorities.

I was reflecting on this last week as I announced on behalf of Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone that our government will install concrete median barriers on approximately nine kilometres of Highway 97 between Kelowna and Lake Country. The total project budget is $2.5 million.

Work will begin later this month on phase one of the project, which will see concrete median barriers installed on Highway 97 from University Way to the north end of Duck Lake. This part of the project is expected to be completed this summer.

Phase two of the safety improvements is in the early planning stages and will likely be completed in fall 2016. It will include median barriers continuing north along Highway 97 from Duck Lake to Commonwealth Road, as well as some additional access improvements. Once initial planning is complete, the proposed design will be brought forward for public consultation. I encourage everyone to take part in this process and share their thoughts and ideas.

Given the importance of Highway 97 to our region, I’m sure there will be plenty of input. It’s a key route for both travel and trade, connecting multiple communities and regions across the province. Highway 97 is the busiest route in the Interior and this particular stretch of road sees approximately 30,000 vehicles per day. With the population of the Okanagan region expected to grow rapidly over the next 10 years, it’s important that we invest in safety improvements and ensure infrastructure keeps pace.

The potential for a second crossing over Okanagan Lake is another option we’re exploring thanks to this growing population, and we want your input on this as well. Two open houses were held in Kelowna and West Kelowna this past week, and our online consultation is now underway at http://engage.gov.bc.ca/okanagansecondcrossing.

Here, you can get background information about the transportation planning going on in the Central Okanagan as well as submit a feedback form either online, by email or mail. This is all part of the ministry’s three-year Central Okanagan Planning Study, which was launched in the fall of 2014.

Of course, our region is just one part of B.C.’s vast transportation network which supports trade for our province’s expanding resource sectors. If you’re interested in learning more about efforts to improve our road infrastructure beyond the Central Okanagan– I encourage you to read B.C. on the Move, the Province’s 10-year transportation plan, at http://engage.gov.bc.ca/transportationplan.

 

Just Posted

International acceptance for Okanagan Xeriscape Association

Association invited to join international plant and gardens group

Power outage in Lake Country

Auto accident knocks out power to 1,050 customers south of Tronson Road and west of Commonage Road

Rockets players excited for CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

Three Rockets will play in a showcase game including 40 of the best players in the CHL.

City of West Kelowna asks for help clearing snow

A snowfall of 10 to 15 centimetres is forecasted overnight

Kelowna’s Two Hat continues to lead charge in fight against child sexual abuse images online

The company has released CEASE.ai, an artificial intelligence model to detect new material for law enforcement

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Heavy snowfall expected for Coquihalla, Okanagan valley

Coquihalla highway, the Connector, and Highway 3, from Princeton to Allison Pass are getting snow.

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Video: Runaway Coquihalla dog returned to owner

Archer, the dog found roaming along Coq. Hwy. on Jan. 19, has been reunited with owner

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Province proposes Shuswap cannabis retail outlet

BC Liquor Distribution Branch pursues new store at Salmon Arm SmartCentres site

Most Read