Plans to make traffic run smoothly through the Central Okanagan taking shape

Click to play video: 'Central Okanagan 20-year transportation plan'
Central Okanagan 20-year transportation plan
It is a major transportation strategy to address growth in the Central Okanagan over the next two decades. The Ministry of Transportation unveils its plans on how to make traffic run smoothly along the highway. As Victoria Femia reports, some of the most problematic areas are being looked at-- including one that gets very congested. – Sep 29, 2023

Improving the congestion on W.R. Bennett Bridge and dealing with the Highway 97 couplet through West Kelowna is being addressed in what the province has called the Central Okanagan Integrated Transportation Strategy.

From Lake Country to Peachland, and all problematic roads that fall between, projects that will help connect people with their communities, promote affordability, support the economy and the movement of goods, and create a cleaner environment will take shape, the province said in a Thursday press release.

Click to play video: 'City of Kelowna selling two ‘gateway’ properties on Harvey Avenue for $11M'
City of Kelowna selling two ‘gateway’ properties on Harvey Avenue for $11M

“This exciting vision for the future of transportation in the Central Okanagan is the result of extensive collaboration with local governments and First Nations,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

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“It provides a clear path forward for the Province and communities to work together to make good land-use decisions, improve roads, enhance public transit, promote active transportation and support a healthier environment.”

The strategy recognizes Highway 97 as the heart of the area’s transportation network, connecting 10 urban centres and providing vital links to the Lower Mainland and Alberta.

The strategy recommends development of several priority projects for Highway 97, including intersection improvements in Peachland; removal of the Highway 97 Couplet in West Kelowna; completion of the Boucherie Road and Westlake Road interchanges; extension of Clement Avenue in Kelowna; and improvements to the Commonwealth Road and Glenmore\Beaver Lake corridor in Lake Country.

Click to play video: 'New lane coming to Alex Fraser bridge to relieve congestion'
New lane coming to Alex Fraser bridge to relieve congestion

The strategy also explores ways to improve capacity on the W.R. Bennett Bridge including adding an additional eastbound lane that can support higher-capacity vehicle trips and transit.

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For information about the Central Okanagan Integrated Transportation Strategy see the report online. 

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