An end to the recent afternoon rush hour traffic back-ups over the William R. Bennett Bridge could be in sight.
B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and the Westbank First Nation, which is managing the construction of the Westside Road overpass just up the hill from the bridge on the Westside, are implementing two measures they hope will help with traffic flow.
According to Murray Tekano, district manager of transportation for the ministry, a third lane from the top of Bridge Hill to the Highway 97 intersection with Nancee Way will be re-opened as of Monday and the traffic signals at Nancee Way will be programmed to stay green for highway traffic longer.
“This should really help move traffic through,” said Tekano.
He added the ministry has been monitoring traffic through the construction zone at Westside Road for several weeks and wanted to do something to relieve the congestion seen during the afternoon rush hour. He said the congestion was expected as work is taking place on a portion of the highway that remains open for use by traffic heading into and out of Kelowna every day.
At times during May, traffic backed up over the bridge from West Kelowna all the way onto Harvey Avenue in Kelowna.