Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure holds open house to improve Highway 97 in Lake Country

Four options were presented to the public to improve the highway

Over 100 Lake Country residents attended an open house at the Winfield Memorial Hall on Wednesday to get their first glimpse at short and long-term options to improve the flow of traffic along Highway 97 in Lake Country.

The open house focused on improvements between Duck Lake and Lodge Road as well as a stretch of highway between Glenmore and the Beaver Lake Road intersection.

For years, the highway has suffered from congestion, steep grades, above-average collision rates and heavy truck use. It also doesn’t offer a lot of active transportation options.

Darrell Gunn, regional manager of project delivery and planning services for the southern interior, said the corridor checked all the boxes for a completely new transportation structure.

“As a ministry, we’re always looking at all of our highway corridors and seeing where having issues and where we need improvements,” said Gunn.

“So, it’s a part of that broader planning that we do on a provincial basis and then looking at it from a corridor specifically and note where we need to put our resources through planning. This is something we’ve been looking at for a while and had the opportunity to do the planning study last year.”

The province launched the traffic study in early 2019, working closely with a technical advisory committee, a community liaison committee and elected officials.

During the open house, authorites presented four possible options.

Option A1 – Glenmore Road to Commonwealth Road

Interim Improvements:

• Upgraded Commonwealth Road intersection

• New west leg road from Commonwealth Road

intersection to Glenmore Road

• Upgraded connection between Commonwealth Road

and Jim Bailey Road

• New frontage roads on the east and west sides of

Highway 97 to consolidate accesses

Long-term improvements:

Interchange at Commonwealth Road replaces at-grade

signalized intersection

• Right-in-right-out access is maintained at Glenmore/Beaver

Lake Road intersection (signal removed)

• New frontage road on the west side of Highway 97 supports

the closure of existing direct highway accesses

Option A2 – Glenmore Road to Jim Bailey Road

Interim Improvements:

New signal south of Voyager RV redirects traffic from Glenmore/

Beaver Lake Road (signal remains)

• Commonwealth Road intersection closed

• New overpass near the Jammery enables all movements at

highway

• Shanks Road upgraded as backage road and new frontage roads

constructed on east side of Highway 97 (supports closure of

highway accesses)

Long-Term Improvements:

New interchange replaces at-grade signal; interchange options

include:

a) Single-Point Urban Interchange: Smaller footprint design

b) Diamond: Traditional interchange design

• Glenmore/Beaver Lake Road intersection closed (due to access

spacing requirements)

Option A3 – Glenmore Road to Main Street

Long-Term Improvements:

• Current Glenmore/Beaver Lake Road intersection closed and

replaced with interchange to south

• New overpass near the Jammery enables all movements at

highway

• Shanks Road upgraded as backage road and new frontage roads

constructed on east side of Highway 97 (supports closure of

highway accesses)

Option B1 – Winfield Town Centre

Interim Improvements:

• Upgrade Lodge Road intersection to a traffic signal

Long-Term Improvements:

• Interchange replaces the signalized intersection at Lodge Road

• All other traffic signals in Town Centre removed and right-in-right-out access is maintained

• Highway underpass constructed between Okanagan Centre Road E and Pollard Road

• Local roads constructed west of highway enhance network connectivity

After a year of planning the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said it is excited to get the project underway. Gunn said residents’ input has been vital in properly shaping the future of Lake Country’s transportation.

“People are excited that we’re doing the planning study and they definitely recognize the need for some work,” said Gunn.

“They’ve been very open and have provided some great feedback as we’ve done this.

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