Letnick: Highways, roads projects progress report

A number of exciting infrastructure development projects are continuing throughout our region.

Kelowna and its surrounding area continue to grow as young families flock to the Okanagan. Recognizing the importance of our local highways to the regional economy and the vibrancy of our communities, the B.C. government is investing in projects that will strengthen our infrastructure to meet increasing demand through its 10-year,

$2.5-billion B.C. on the Move plan.

With respect to the Pelmewash Parkway, significant progress has been made and the project continues to move forward at a solid pace. The Ministry of Transportation is working actively with the District of Lake Country for the transfer of the old Highway 97 to Lake County control and I’m excited to see what these negotiations bring.

On the 4.5-kilometre expansion of Highway 97 from four to six lanes between Highway 33 and Edwards Road, I am pleased to say that this project is in full swing. In early March we announced the awarding of a $36-million contract for the second phase of this $60-million project.

Since beginning in April, construction work on the project is continuing and the project is anticipated to be completed by the fall of 2017.

I am also pleased to see that new median barriers between Kelowna and Lake Country along Highway 97 are in operation. They are having a direct impact on the safety of our motorists and are saving lives.

Finally, the last phase of the $11.6-million John Hindle Drive project is proceeding along the preliminary design stages, with a public engagement process expected to be announced in the near future. This will help us to understand what the community, as well as project partners and other important stakeholders, hope to see from the development.

I would like to offer a word of thanks for the public’s on-going patience with these vital projects. I know the community is eager to the see final results of these developments and I appreciate all of your input and understanding as these important changes continue ahead.