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

Nine West Kelowna athletes to go to B.C. Winter Games

The athletes will compete in biathlon and cross country ski

Kelowna Toyota to attempt to break Guinness World Record for most stickers on a car

The event is being held to raise money for the Kelowna and West Kelowna fire departments

Rockets’ Nolan Foote traded to New Jersey Devils

The Devils acquired Foote and a 2020 first-round pick from the Lightning in exchange for Blake Coleman

The Coldest Night of Year walk returns to Kelowna Feb. 22

The event raises money for charities serving hungry, homeless and hurting people in the community

VIDEO: Kawhi Leonard wins first Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP award

Leonard scored 30 points and hit eight 3-pointers to lead Team LeBron to a 157-155 victory

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

B.C. man released from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Because Spencer Fehrenbacher has American citzensip, he was evacuated by the U.S.

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

Most Read