West Kelowna looks for choices in Okanagan Lake second crossing project | Kelowna News | iNFOnews

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West Kelowna looks for choices in Okanagan Lake second crossing project

The province is studying options for a second crossing of Okanagan Lake.
November 03, 2015 - 1:00 PM

KELOWNA - A project that would see a second crossing installed over Okanagan Lake has yet to get the full backing of West Kelowna council.

West Kelowna Mayor Doug Findlater says his council doesn’t have the full understanding neccessary to take a firm stand on what the city wants from the Okanagan Lake second crossing project.

“There’s so many things going on, environmental, engineering, First Nations,” Findlater says. “We need to understand all that before we take a strong position. My own position has been that we like the bypass as well as the bridge presented as options. We just don’t want them to ignore the possibility of a bypass.”

The mayor hopes a presentation by Ministry of Transportation project manager Murray Tekano to council at a special meeting tomorrow, Nov. 4, will shed some more light on the multi-faceted 20-year project and what it entails for West Kelowna.

The overall scope of the project includes the highway transportation corridor from south of Peachland to Vernon.

Tekano will take councillors through data gleaned in 2014 using sophisticated traffic counting technology and more importantly, explain what it will mean to local drivers trying to navigate increasingly congested roads and highways.

That includes estimates of the increases in travel time between West Kelowna and other Central Okanagan communities by 2040 if nothing is done about local congestion. 

As an example, local drivers can expect an extra 6.5 minutes driving in the morning and six minutes during the evening while making a automobile trip to or from downtown Kelowna.

By then, the ministry expects West Kelowna to have a population of 47,400, part of a regional population of 275,000.

Findlater is also expecting clarification on plans for local highway intersections that must be completed long before a second bridge is built.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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