Road network around Kelowna airport, UBCO subject of study - InfoNews

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Road network around Kelowna airport, UBCO subject of study

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October 27, 2017 - 6:30 PM

KELOWNA - Positioned as they are on Highway 97, Kelowna International Airport and UBC Okanagan are facilities of regional and provincial significance and as such, need long-range planning study into how to maximize the efficiency of the roads and highways around them.

Known collectively as the Okanagan Gateway, integrated transportation manager Rafael Villarreal believes the area is an ideal candidate for federal grant money targeted at improving trade and commerce by fixing transportation bottlenecks.

In a report to Kelowna council, Villarreal recommends spending $262,500 in pursuit of matching funds from the National Trade Corridor Fund, which has $400 million to spend over the next three years.

Half the money would come from the city with UBC and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure providing the other half.

Both the university and the airport have seen significant growth, Villarreal says, with passenger volumes up 25 per cent since 2012 and the student body almost doubling to 9,000 students in 12 years.

With rapid development in the area, the addition of John Hindle Drive and the Okanagan Rail Trail, Villarreal says the study is needed to identify a multi-modal transportation network for the Okanagan Gateway area, which will in turn allow the city to protect land needed for future expansion.

Kelowna city council will consider the request at its regular meeting, 1:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30 at Kelowna city hall.

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