Overpasses promoted to reduce traffic congestion through West Kelowna

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK

WEST KELOWNA - The new West Kelowna city council has taken a new approach to relieving traffic congestion on Highway 97 through the community by agreeing to lobby the province to build two new overpasses.

“This is an issue that I’ve been strongly supportive of through most of the last council’s tenure and I’m hoping I might see a change in support from this council moving forward,” Coun. Rick DeJong told council while making the motion at its meeting last night, Nov. 27.

His motion called for overpasses at Boucherie and Hudson/Westlake Roads. When he tried a similar motion with the previous council, it died for a lack of a seconder.

“When I heard this motion wasn’t seconded, when the province had money on the table, I was pretty disappointed,” rookie Coun. Jayson Zilkie said in support of the motion. “As a resident, and somebody who commutes every day to Kelowna, I think this is absolutely a great idea. I know what the overpass did at Westside Road. That created great traffic flow.”

Zilkie was joined by fellow council newcomers Stephen Johnston, Jason Friesen and Mayor Gord Milsom in supporting the motion. Former mayor, and now councillor, Doug Findlater was the lone voice opposed. Incumbent Coun. Carol Zanon was absent from the meeting.

“I think interchanges at these locations may be the right solution but at this point are Band-Aids without a full analysis” Findlater said. “We have another study coming very soon.”

That study, he said, will review options for a Peachland bypass and may include the province paying for a second outlet from Glenrosa. He argued that traffic congestion was an issue more around the Bennett Bridge.

“We do have some congestion on the corridor,” he said. “I drive that route fairly often. The real problem is Sneena/Campbell Road by the bridge. There’s a backup there. That needs a comprehensive look.”

While other councillors agreed that more study needs to be done, they saw the overpasses at Boucherie and Hudson/Westlake Roads as a way to make significant improvements to traffic flow.


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