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6-lane project along Hwy 97 in Kelowna complete

Construction widening Highway 97 between Edwards Road and Highway 33 began in April 2016. File / Global News

It should be easier to drive through Kelowna along Highway 97 now that the six-lane project widening the road has been completed.

Approximately 40,000 vehicles a day travel along the 4.5-kilometre highway corridor between Edwards Road and Highway 33.

The $67-million project was cost-shared, with $18 million from the federal government, $1 million from the City of Kelowna and the rest from the province.

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Crews added high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes and intersection upgrades to Leathead, McCurdy, Findlay/Hollywood and Sexsmith roads. They also re-aligned Rutland Road with a new roundabout at Old Vernon Road.

“These upgrades should make it easier and safer for people to move through Kelowna,” Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, said in a news release. “They also create a better connection from the downtown core to the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus and Kelowna Airport.”

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The city also expanded the bus, rapid transit and cycling networks in the area to reduce traffic congestion.

“The widening project and intersection upgrades have enhanced our transportation infrastructure for the long term and will reduce congestion and improve safety in this vital corridor,” Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran said in a news release. “We’re very pleased to see this project complete.”

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