Public feedback being gathered for Highway 97 intersection in Lake Country | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Public feedback being gathered for Highway 97 intersection in Lake Country

The District of Lake Country has been lobbying the Ministry of Transportation for years to upgrade the intersection of Highway 97 and Glenmore Road/Beaver Lake Road intersection.

While there are still challenges with the options the Ministry of Transportation is suggesting to upgrade a contentious highway intersection in Lake Country, the mayor is glad the issue is being addressed.

A public open house was held Wednesday night, Feb. 5, for residents to provide their input on three options to upgrade the intersection of Glenmore Road/Beaver Lake Road and Highway 97 in Lake Country.

The intersection has long been a traffic issue for residents, plagued with accidents and traffic jams.

Lake Country Mayor James Baker said the District has lobbied for years to the Ministry of Transportation to fix it.

“They see this as something that needs doing right away, but there are still deficiencies will all the options and there are so many constraints. You can’t just engineer the best and safest option without a whole lot of dollars being spent,” Baker said, adding that the surrounding Agricultural Land Reserve, Okanagan Indian Band land and Vernon Creek also pose challenges with upgrading the highway.

All the people that drive out of The Lakes and Lakestone developments end up at that intersection, he said.

While the District does have plans to adjust for the increase in traffic with the new developments, they also have to work with the Ministry to ensure that the needs of residents are being met, he said.

A Chase Road and Okanagan Centre Road West connection will take traffic away from that intersection on the highway, but that’s in the District's plans for development, he said, and suggested that the Ministry could even widen Glenmore Road to have two turning lanes onto the highway.

The three options include:

Glenmore Road to Commonwealth Road
This option will update the Commonwealth Road intersection, add a new road from the Commonwealth Road intersection to Glenmore Road, upgrade a connection between Commonwealth Road and Jim Bailey Road and add new frontage roads on the east and west sides of Highway 97.

Glenmore Road to Jim Bailey Road
A signal south of Voyager RV would redirect traffic from Glenmore/Beaver Lake Road (signal would remain) and close the Commonwealth Road intersection. A new overpass near The Jammery would be added and Shanks Road would be upgraded. New roads would be constructed on the east side of Highway 97.

Glenmore Road to Main Street
This option would close the current Glenmore/Beaver Lake Road intersection and replace it with an interchange to the south, add a new overpass near The Jammery, upgrade Shanks Road and add new roads on the east side of Highway 97.

An option to add a traffic light at the Lodge Road intersection is also being proposed for Lake Country’s town centre.

The Glenmore Road intersection study is part of multiple transportation studies that are ongoing in the Okanagan.

In Peachland, the Ministry is looking at a bypass or highway widening options, as part of the larger Central Okanagan transportation study. It is also in the planning phase for the Highway 97A corridor through the City of Enderby and Splatsin IR#2 between Stepney Cross Road and the junction with Highways 97A and 97B.

Residents have until Feb. 19 to submit their feedback on the options provided. They can do so by emailing or sending a letter to Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Attn: Sarin Warman, 342-447 Columbia St., Kamloops, B.C., V2C 2T3.

To read the full transportation report, visit the Ministry’s website here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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