From the Province of British Columbia
November 24, 2016
Following extensive public and stakeholder consultation, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is proceeding with the design for a new interchange on Highway 97 at Boucherie Road.
“As the economy and population of the Okanagan both continue to grow, infrastructure needs to keep pace,” said Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna. “Because we’ve stuck to our plan, we’re able to make investments that get more British Columbians where they need to go quickly and safely.”
In addition, the ministry will be proceeding with safety improvements on Highway 97 this coming spring including:
- Installing approximately six kilometres of continuous lighting on Highway 97 from the William R. Bennett Bridge to Ross Road, and
- Installing approximately four kilometres of median barrier on Highway 97 from Daimler Drive to Gossett Road.
“Public engagement is an important part of our project planning and we thank everyone who provided input,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone. “The public feedback expressed strong support for the ministry’s conceptual layout to improve safety and traffic flow at the Boucherie Road intersection and our next step will be to initiate preliminary design at that location.”
“The City of West Kelowna’s mayor and council have expressed a desire for an alternate route around the city and changes to Highway 97 through the Westbank Town Centre,” Stone added. “In recognition of these concerns, the ministry will defer work at Westlake Road while we carry out a needs and options assessment for an alternative route. This assessment will take place within the Central Okanagan Planning Study that is currently underway.”
An engagement summary report regarding the future of the Boucherie and Westlake intersections in West Kelowna is now posted to the ministry website, following a public engagement period that included two open houses in the spring that were attended by almost 400 people.
The engagement report summarizes the engagement results including open house attendance, the number of feedback forms received and the level of agreement with the conceptual layouts that the ministry presented. 74% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed with the Boucherie Road intersection conceptual layout.
In 2014, the ministry began planning improvements to the Highway 97/Boucherie Road and Westlake Road intersections to increase safety and mobility along the highway corridor. These two intersections were identified as the next sections of Highway 97 most in need of safety and mobility improvements following the completion of the William R. Bennett Bridge and Westside Road Interchange projects.
During the consultation process, the ministry engaged with the community to provide information and gather input regarding the conceptual layouts being considered for the Boucherie Road and Westlake Road improvements. This followed extensive technical consultation with the City of West Kelowna and the Westbank First Nation.
The engagement summary report is available on the Highway 97 – Boucherie and Westlake Road Intersections webpage at: http://www.gov.bc.ca/okanaganvalleycorridorprojects