WEST KELOWNA - Today, Premier Christy Clark announced an additional $1 million for paving work on Westside Road. This is in addition to the $5.5 million in work already underway this year on Westside Road, improving safety on a corridor important to local residents and the Okanagan tourism industry.
"Westside Road serves a number of the Okanagan's most popular resorts and campgrounds, as well as over a thousand residents," said Premier Clark. "It's not acceptable to have it named B.C.'s worst road. With over $6.5 million in improvements this year, we're going to continue to invest in Westside Road, and make it safer for everyone."
Starting later in July, approximately five kilometres of intermittent paving will be carried out along a 15-kilometre section of the road between Jenny Creek and Caesar's Landing. This work will smooth out the ride and improve safety for residents and tourists. The project is valued at $1 million.
This work builds on the previously announced four kilometres of paving work between Caesar's Landing and Nahun, valued at $650,000, bringing the total length of paving on Westside Road this year to over nine kilometres.
In addition, the $3-million project to improve lane and shoulder widths and realign a 500-metre section of Westside Road from Blue Grouse to Jenny Creek is on schedule and nearly complete.
Work completed on Westside Road this year includes a northbound slow-moving-vehicle pullout near Wilson Landing, and 380 metres of realignment and widening with concrete roadside barrier installation at Cinnabar Creek. Work still underway includes a southbound slow-moving-vehicle pullout 1.5 kilometres north of Bear Lake Forest Service Road near Pine Point.
The government of B.C. has increased investment in Westside Road in recent years, to make travel safer and more efficient. Realignment, paving and slow-moving-vehicle pullout projects total $10.3 million since 2008, including $6.5 million this year alone.
Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested more than $600 million in upgrading highways, roads, bridges and transit in the Okanagan.
Learn more about improvements to Westside Road at: www.th.gov.bc.ca/OkanaganValley/projects/westside_w-kelowna_vernon/index.htm
A backgrounder follows.
Office of the Premier
Westside Road by the numbers
Quick facts on Westside Road:
- Westside Road is 65 kilometres long, located on the west side of Okanagan Lake between Highway 97 in West Kelowna and Highway 97 near Vernon.
- Westside Road serves local population estimated at approximately 1,200 residents.
- Traffic volumes are in the range of 1,000 vehicles per day.
- Summer traffic volumes on the section between West Kelowna and Bear Creek Provincial Park can peak at 2,500 vehicles per day.
- A total of seven pullouts for slow moving vehicles have been added (six completed, one under construction).
- The government of B.C. has invested $10.3 million in safety improvements to Westside Road since 2008.
Major Kelowna and area transportation infrastructure investments since 2001:
Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested more than $600 million in upgrading highways, roads, bridges and transit in the Okanagan. Some of the major projects include:
- Westside Road Interchange - $41 million.
- Highway 33 Muir to Gallagher four-laning - $25 million in partnership with the City of Kelowna.
- Highway 33 Walker Hill climbing lane - $5 million.
- Expansion of Highway 97 through Kelowna to six lanes (HOV lanes) - $17.1 million.
- Highway 97 Campbell Road Interchange - $26 million in partnership with Westbank First Nation.
- University of British Columbia Okanagan flyover - $11.44 million in partnership with City of Kelowna and UBC Okanagan.
- W.R. Bennett Bridge, a new five-lane bridge across Okanagan Lake - $145 million.
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure