Third lane extension expected to help relieve commuter congestion

three lanes of traffic on Highway 97, have been extended eastward from the Westside Road overpass (in the distance) to the top of Bridge Hill.  - Sean Connor/Capital News
three lanes of traffic on Highway 97, have been extended eastward from the Westside Road overpass (in the distance) to the top of Bridge Hill.
— image credit: Sean Connor/Capital News

The measures implemented by the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and the construction crews working on the Westside Road overpass appear to have alleviated traffic congestion on the William R. Bennett Bridge.

Two weeks ago, the ministry announced it would lengthen the time the traffic signals at Nancee Way in West Kelowna, stay green for highway traffic traveling west and would open up a third lane through the construction site to ease what had become large back-ups of traffic over the bridge during each afternoon commute out of Kelowna.

But while the traffic light move made some difference, the initial opening of the third lane west of the new overpass had little effect.

That, however, changed earlier this week when the lane was extended east of the overpass to the top of Bridge Hill.

MOT regional manager Murray Tekano said the extension of the third lane has changed the traffic flow for the better.

He said because the highway still passes through a construction zone, there will continue to be slow downs as vehicles reduce their speed in the 60 kilometre per hour zone.

Currently, there are three lanes heading west on the West Kelowna side of the bridge and two lanes east.

The overpass, which is currently half built, is expected to be complete by the fall.

Once the second half is built, the road, which currently has several twists in its alignment, will be straightened out, said Tekano.

Following completion of the overpass at Westside Road, a new underpass will be built at Nancee Way completing the project.

That work is scheduled to take another year and be complete in the fall of 2012.

The project is being managed by the Westbank First Nation and is costing the province $44 million.



We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Annual Wine and Dine Thompson-Okanagan event kicks off
Lake Country school trustee Deb Butler says school district should take more time on catchment issue
Scott settles for 3rd at B.C. Scotties
Homecoming delayed for Fernie child with AVM
Prince Rupert RCMP looking for assistance locating stolen carved mask
Council pondering increase to transit fares, approve route changes
MLA Shane Simpson tours Kootenays
Bobcat attacks local pets
Freeski athletes shred RED

Community Events, January 2015

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jan 23 edition online now. Browse the archives.