By the end of next month, West Kelowna drivers will be able to make safer left turns at a couple of key intersections.
Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart announced Friday that advance left turn signals will be installed at the Highway 97 intersections of Bartley and Gellatly/Gossett Roads.
Work will begin monday on the Bartley Road intersection, where advance left turn signals will be installed in each direction along Highway 97. Flashing left turn arrows will be installed along Bartley Road to make it easier for motorists to turn onto the highway.
After that work is done, similar signals will be installed at the Gellatly/Gossett Road intersection.
“The one I’m most concerned about currently is the Bartley Road (intersection),” said Stewart.
“When you travel that corridor and try to turn off onto Bartley Road from Highway 97 heading north, it is one where a lot of the vision lines are cut down because of the curvature of the road. This will improve that safety immensely.”
The province is cost-sharing the project with West Kelowna. The total cost is $190,000; the district will chip in just over $77,000 toward the improvements.
During the summer, the province installed left turn signals at the Butt Road and Highway 97 intersection. Stewart said that work has already had a positive impact on safety.
He added other intersections, such as Daimler Road and Highway 97, will likely also have left turn signals installed at some point in the future.
West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater said the new signals may slow down the flow of traffic, but that’s a small price to pay for the increased safety.
“What we’re doing here is saving lives and saving people from serious injuries. It’s absolutely necessary with the volume of speed on this route to do this,” said Findlater.