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More highway barriers to be installed in Okanagan: Ministry of Transportation

New medians on Okanagan highways aimed at reducing crashes
WATCH: From the South Okanagan to the North, a series of fatal crashes has led to calls for more median barriers on valley highways. Now the province is partially answering those calls with two projects that will divide busy sections of Highway 97 A and Highway 97.

Two highways in the Okanagan will be fitted with more median barriers later this year, B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation announced on Friday.

The barriers will be installed on sections of Highway 97 between Penticton and Summerland, and Highway 97A between Armstrong and Vernon.

Read more: Highway 33 closure continues outside of Kelowna

The ministry says the barriers will improve highway safety, such as helping prevent cross-over accidents and head-on collisions, and that installation will begin this fall.

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

“Improving safety for people is our top priority and installing median barriers along sections of the highway ensures an added layer of protection for travellers,” transportation minister Claire Trevena said in a press release.

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“This project will benefit those travelling in the Okanagan, whether it be for daily errands, business or pleasure.”

“This is ridiculous, this is taking too long,” Peachland’s mayor echoes calls for highway upgrades following deadly crash on Drought Hill.
“This is ridiculous, this is taking too long,” Peachland’s mayor echoes calls for highway upgrades following deadly crash on Drought Hill.

For Highway 97 in the South Okanagan, median and roadside barriers will be installed along an eight-kilometre stretch between West Bench Hill Road and Sun-Oka Beach Provincial Park.

The ministry says the roadside barrier will connect with the existing roadside barrier.

For Highway 97A in the North Okanagan, median barriers will be placed along a 5.9-kilometre stretch between Smith Drive in Armstrong and Pleasant Valley Road in Vernon.

The ministry said drivers can expect minor delays during these projects, with installation work occurring outside the peak traffic hours of 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Opinions divided over Highway 97 rerouting in Peachland
Opinions divided over Highway 97 rerouting in Peachland