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Lake Country open house details possible Highway 97 changes

Open house for possible changes to Highway 97 near Lake Country

It’s a section of road that’s plagued by lower speed limits and stoplights for drivers cruising between Kelowna and Vernon. For residents of Lake Country, it’s a source of frustrating congestion.

The province is looking at possible changes to an area that stretches five kilometres along Highway 97 from Duck Lake to Lodge Road in Lake Country.

At an open house in Lake Country on Wednesday afternoon, officials presented boards with different options for tackling traffic woes.

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The open house suggests interim improvements, such as tweaking traffic light timing and improving laning, as well as longer-term options, like building an interchange.

“We’re also looking at working with the District of Lake Country and the City of Kelowna on other road connections parallel to the highways, so ideally a lot of those local trips that people living in the community take, [they won’t] actually have to get on the highway,” Donnelly said.

A major focus of the open house is the intersection at Highway 97 and Glenmore-Beaver Lake roads. Possible solutions suggest shifting the main access point to the highway.

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“There are three different options: one’s down by Commonwealth Road, another’s closer to the current intersection, and they all look at doing some sort of grade separation to keep traffic moving,” transportation ministry spokesperson Darrell Gunn said.

Lake Country Mayor James Baker is optimistic the options being presented will help improve access for everybody.

“All of the options have merit, and they all have different constraints, whether it’s topography or the land reserve, or individual private lands, or individual band lands,” he said.

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The province is hoping to wrap up the planning phase in spring.

However, officials said the project depends on funding, and they have no timeline for when actual changes or construction might take place.

Residents who wish to give feedback online can do so here.

Online petition for safety barriers on Highway 97 gains traction
Online petition for safety barriers on Highway 97 gains traction