The proposed extension of Clement Avenue. (City of Kelowna)

The proposed extension of Clement Avenue. (City of Kelowna)

Second bridge across Okanagan Lake ‘unlikely’ because of $1 billion price tag

Highway 33 extension plans are being scaled back due to cost

Plans for a second bridge over Okanagan Lake and a freeway alternative along Kelowna’s north end are unlikely after city planners described the project as “prohibitively expensive” in a report headed to council on Monday.

According to the report, the price tag to build a second bridge over the lake has jumped by more than $300 million and would likely exceed $1 billion.

“A freeway bypass of Kelowna and the Westside, including a second crossing of Okanagan Lake, was estimated to be roughly $700 million in 2006. It is likely that the full realization of the historical vision would be well in excess of $1 billion today,” states the report.

“The work undertaken by the Ministry of Transportation’s Central Okanagan Planning Study to date points strongly towards increasing the people-moving capacity of the existing corridor.”

READ MORE: ‘A traffic jam like you’ve never seen’: Kelowna resident concerned over future development

While a second bridge may no longer be viable, the prospect of a Highway 33 extension isn’t completely dead in the water.

The highway extension was initially proposed in 2007 as an alternative to Highway 97, connecting UBCO on the east side of the city to a second bridge, however, according to the report that plan posed “significant challenges.”

One of those challenges was the fact that only 13 per cent of traffic on the William R. Bennett Bridge passes through the city without stopping, undermining the need for a full bypass and second bridge.

The revised plan now indicates it may be more realistic to build an arterial roadway connecting Clement Avenue to McCurdy Road instead of the high-speed freeway with interchanges that was initially envisioned in the first plan. Clement Avenue currently ends at Spall Road.

READ MORE: Minster says Highway 97 study is on hold

According to the new plan, the proposed road would run parallel to the Rail Trail, which was recently completed by the city. If the plan moves forward the city would have to relocate its bus facility.

“The scope of work includes a four-lane connection between Spall Road and Highway 33, with at-grade intersections at Spall, Dilworth, and Enterprise. The most recent cost estimate for these works is $57 million,” states the report.

Buying the land needed for the project’s second phase to extend Clement from Highway 33 to McCurdy would require another $1.1 million in land acquisition by the city. The revised project would cost significantly less than the initial proposal.

The entire plan will be given to city council on Monday, Oct. 28.


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested at Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear mask, leave

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

The former McDonald’s in downtown Kelowna is finally coming down. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
VIDEO: McDonald’s demolition begins

The former McDonald’s restaurant finally comes down after 13 years of vacancy

News Bulletin file photo
West Kelowna Daybreak Rotary Club to host Rudolph Drive-Thru Breakfast

The event aims to raise funds for the Salvation Army

Bean Scene North at 1399 Ellis Street in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Anti-maskers yell at Kelowna café-owner who was holding her baby

Three maskless men entered Bean Scene North on Saturday afternoon looking for an argument, owner says

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

RCMP pictured at a motor vehicle incident during snowy conditions. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B&E, stolen car in Vernon lands Whitehorse man in cuffs

Suspect takes off on foot in attempts to evade arrest

Penticton Search and Rescue along with the Penticton Fire Department located and airlifted an injured 21-year-old female hiker Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. (Mike Biden photo)
Penticton search and rescue airlift injured hiker off mountain

There has been an unprecedented amount of calls for search and rescue this year

Salmon Arm RCMP nabbed two Calgary suspects in an allegedly stolen vehicle on Highway 1 on Nov. 22, 2020. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP use spike belts on Highway 1 to nab Calgary suspects

Arrests occur after Revelstoke RCMP clock allegedly stolen vehicle going faster than 160 km/h

RCMP stayed with the vehicle until it was towed to a secure lot. (Black Press file photo)
Armoured truck carrying millions of dollars crashes near Princeton

The incident occurred after the truck hit an elk on the road

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Most Read