A $40.8-million contract for the four-lane Highway 97 project between Winfield and Oyama has now been awarded to Windley Contracting (2010) Ltd. of Nanaimo.
The construction project involves building a nine-kilometre, four-lane highway west of the existing two-lane section of the Okanagan Highway between the two Lake Country communities.
Work is scheduled to begin this spring and be completed in 2013.
Federal funding for the work comes from a $33-billion Building Canada Plan under which long-term, stable and predictable funding is provided to help meet infrastructure needs across Canada.
The federal and provincial governments signed an Infrastructure Framework Agreement under that plan on Nov. 6, 2007 for work between 2007 and 2014.
The next year there was a call for infrastructure projects in smaller communities to be funded under the $2.2 billion provincial plan.
The goal is to make the road safer, explained Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan. “As the Okanagan grows, it attracts more investment. We’re working to meet that growth and this project is a great example of that—creating jobs, boosting trade, supporting tourism and making our highways safer for residents and visitors alike.”
Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick said the project is expected to create more than 250 jobs while improving Highway 97 safety.