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Safety upgrades coming to busy Hwy 97 intersection in Penticton

Work begins in fall at Hwy 97 and Skaha Hills Drive/Sandhill Road
In August 2022, the Ministry of Transportation installed a new traffic light at Highway 97 and Skaha Hills Rd to improve safety. (Monique Tamminga Western News file photo)

A tender will be issued to work on improvements to the intersection of Highway 97 and Skaha Hills Drive/Sandhill Road in Penticton. The upgrades will make this challenging intersection safer and more efficient for pedestrians and vehicle traffic, said the provincial government.

“This project will improve safety for the pedestrians and drivers in the area,” said Dan Coulter, Minister of State for Infrastructure and Transit. “By working in partnership with the Penticton Indian Band throughout this process, we’re ensuring local needs are being addressed and supporting future growth in the area.”

The safety upgrades build on the temporary lights that were installed at this high-traffic intersection in August 2022.

The intersection is at the bottom of the hill of Highway 97 and intersects with two campgrounds, the Skaha Hills residential areas and a golf course. Drivers trying to make a left have a blind spot and with vehicles travelling down a hill, it makes it dangerous.

The upgraded intersection will include a new left-turn lane at Highway 97 and Skaha Hills Drive/Sandhill Road, along with new sidewalks and wider shoulders. A portion of Skaha Hills Road will be relocated to provide better sight lines for safety. Work on the project will also include improved drainage systems throughout.

“Wai, after years of negotiations, including two previous band councils, the Skaha Hills project is a key example of collaboration between the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the snpink’tn (Penticton) Indian Band, with its objective to promote safe driving conditions at an increasingly busy Skaha intersection,” said yilmixwm Chief Greg Gabriel. “All involved have designed upgrades that will ensure road safety for band members, pedestrians and drivers alike. Our joint commitment to promoting highway safety has been greatly strengthened by this endeavour, lim limpt.”

The project is scheduled to begin in fall 2023 and is expected to be complete summer 2024.

READ MORE: Traffic lights installed at problematic Highway 97 intersection in Penticton

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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