December 23, 2014 - 1:37 PM
LAKE COUNTRY – A dangerous stretch of Highway 97 where a woman died following a head on collision Sunday is getting some attention from the Ministry of Transportation.
“That incident over the weekend was terrible and our thoughts are with the friends and family of the people affected,” says Ministry spokesperson Murray Tekano. “It’s really a terrible thing.”
On Tuesday morning the B.C. Coroners Service identified the woman killed in the crash as 48-year-old Frances Marie Strocher of Kelowna. She is one of five people who died this year as a result of crossing the centre lane and colliding with an oncoming vehicle. And the Ministry of Transportation says it's become clear something needs to be done.
Tekano says the Ministry will use the findings from the investigation conducted after the accident to inform their decisions for future improvements for the area.
Last fall 11 km of barriers were installed between Lake Country and Vernon and as early as next spring, the Ministry could begin installing more concrete barriers separating north and southbound lanes from the Kelowna airport to Lake Country.
Tekano says the work is still in the planning stage and will have to include a period of community consultation.
“This area is a little bit different than the area north of Lake Country,” he says. “There’s a lot of direct access to commercial businesses that we have to consult with before we make any decisions what to do and when.”
Those consultations are planned for early 2015 with installation beginning in the spring.
“Clearly, improvements are needed,” he says. “We’re looking at the area from the airport intersection right through to Commonwealth Road.”
The 11 km stretch of barricades near Vernon cost around $5 million.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014