March 28, 2013 - 6:31 PM
By Julie Whittet
The stretch of highway 97 from Highway 33 to Edwards Road will soon be expanded from four to six lanes. Funding of $50.2 million was announced this afternoon to pay for the expansion and upgrades to 4.5 kilometres of Highway 97.
The expansion plans were unveiled today at a public event in front of the 'Welcome to Kelowna' sign at Sexsmith Road. Kelowna MP Ron Cannan first announced $18 million from the federal government, and MLA Norm Letnick then announced the remaining funding of $32.2 million from the province of B.C. The plans have been in the works for two years, said MLA Steve Thomson.
Letnick also announced the project will, “redo intersections along the way, specifically Reid's Corner right at here Sexsmith,” as well as realign Rutland road.
“Anything that's major on a highway like this does cause some inconvenience, so please have patience with us as we build this through,” he said.
Mayor Walter Gray, also in attendance, said the highway extension has been a long-time priority for the city, and will provide motorists with a safer route.
The initial phase of planning will start right away, but construction won't get underway until next year. The expansion and upgrades should be complete by 2016.
Mayor Gray also hinted at today's event the eventual restructuring of Rutland Road and an extension of Highway 33, to help alleviate traffic congestion.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013