Options for a second crossing of Okanagan Lake coming in the fall

The provincial team studying the Highway 97 corridor through the Central Okanagan says options will be presented at open houses.

The Ministry of Transportation says it will present options for a second crossing of Okanagan Lake in the fall. Currently

The project manger for the provincial study of Highway 97 between north Kelowna and south of Peachland says the public will see options for a second crossing of Okanagan Lake in the fall.

Ross Coates, who gave Kelowna city council an update on the three-year project Monday, confirmed the project team intends to unveil second crossing options when it holds its next round of open houses later this year.

“We are beginning to explore potential second crossing alignments,” said Coates.

He said with information garnered from the public,as well as local government and other stakeholders,the Central Okanagan Planing Study, or COPS as it known, is beginning to take shape and feedback on the options will be welcomed.

As part of its information gathering, the COPS team has derived a number of key statistics about the use of the existing W.R. Bennett Bridge that they say will influence its second crossing option decisions. They include 96 per cent of trips across the bridge start and end in the Central Okanagan, a figure that is up from 85 per cent when information was gathered for use of the previous Okanagan Floating Bridge in 1994. Also,more than two-thirds of the trips across the bridge are between Kelowna and Peachland, West Kelowna and the WFN lands.

Coates told council the WR Bennett Bridge is not not being used as much as was predicted prior to it being built in 2008 but the number is not far off the prediction.

Only four per cent of traffic using the bridge passes through the Central Okanagan for points north and east.

The study has also found what most drivers who use the bridge every day already know, while traffic volumes on the bridge may be the highest, congestion is the worst on the highway leading to it on each side of the lake.

“This realization has caused us to think hard about what the role of the provincial highway is,” he said. “Especially in urban areas.”

In response to a question from Mayor Colin Basran, Coates said the COPS team is looking at multi-modal forms of transportation on Highway 97 through the Central Okanagan, not just focussing on vehicles.

Basran asked if a “major” investment in transit along the highway was being considered by the study team.

Coasts said such options were being factored in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Road closures in effect

Kelowna - The Old Vernon, Rutland and Acland Road intersection will close Nov. 20

Wear neon for Glow Night

Kelowna - The annual Glow Night is back Nov. 18

‘Listen to your gut’ urges injured skier

Mike Shaw was told he’d never walk again after an accident four years ago, but he defied the odds

Small grass fire sparks in West Kelowna

Fire crews quickly douse blaze in ditch on Friday afternoon

Kelowna teen allegedly robbed while walking at night

Community asked for tips to help reunite teen with ring

Flag person struck by car

RCMP investigating incident involving female traffic control person and senior driver

Rockets calm Hurricanes for 7th straight win at home

Dillon Dube scored twice Friday to lead Rockets to WHL victory over Lethbridge

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Guns and drugs seized in Kamloops RCMP blitz

Kamloops Mounties and the gang unit seize drugs and make arrests in two-day blitz

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Interior Health expands meningococcal precautions in South Okanagan

Oliver, Osoyoos and Okanagan Falls included in the expanded precautionary immunization measure

Homeless count returns amid Penticton’s housing crisis

Volunteers are hitting the streets this week to find solid data on Penticton’s homeless population

Missing woman smart, courageous, lovable

Mother says Caitlin Potts trying to overcome foster care experience

Most Read