Province holding more input sessions on Highway 97 corridor congestion

The William R. Bennett Bridge in Kelowna is pictured in this file photo.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO

KELOWNA - In just over twenty years, the William R. Bennett Bridge over Okanagan Lake in Kelowna will be at capacity, the province says.

The Ministry of Transportation is holding a third round of pubic engagement events to gather feedback on future transportation improvement projects for the Central Okanagan and the Highway 97 corridor.

“By 2040, a trip along the full length of the corridor between Peachland and Lake Country will take almost 15 minutes longer in the morning peak hour and up to 24 minutes longer in the afternoon peak hour,” according to a B.C. Government media release.

In an online discussion the Ministry of Transporation asks, “What should be done to deal with congestion on the Highway 97 corridor?”

Some people say a second bridge crossing is a viable solution to the current congestion problem.

“A second crossing or alternate route through or around Kelowna is desperately needed,” said one commenter.

Others say a bypass route should be constructed.

“We need a major highway that bypasses the stop lights, pedestrian crossings, tourists taking pictures, slower in town speed zones," another commenter posts.

The open houses will be held March 27 in Lake Country at the Winfield Memorial Hall, March 28 in Kelowna at the Ramada Kelowna Hotel and March 30 in in West Kelowna at the Westbank Lions Community Centre.

All of the sessions will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 

For more information on the Central Okanagan transportation study or to submit feedback, you can click here.

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