VERNON - The government of B.C. will install concrete median barriers on approximately 11 kilometres of Highway 97 between Lake Country and Vernon to improve safety for motorists.
Concrete median barriers will be extended from the end of Pelmawash Parkway near Oyama to Kalamalka Lakeview Drive near Vernon. Work will start this fall. This project is expected to cost approximately $5 million.
The decision to install median barriers was made following a recent engineering safety review of the highway. The recommendation was driven by the risk of crossover accidents combined with high traffic volumes.
As a result of this engineering assessment and other engineering work completed for the Rural Highway Safety and Speed Review, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has determined the speed limit on this section of Highway 97 could be increased from 90 km/h to 100 km/h with the addition of median barrier. This change to the speed limit will be made following the completion of the median barrier project.
Median barrier installation work will be done in off-peak travel hours, usually evening and overnight, and will require single lane closures for safety. Details will be posted to DriveBC as construction nears.
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone -
“Safety on our highways is our number one priority, and the risk of collisions involving vehicles crossing the centreline on this section of Highway 97 is a significant concern. The addition of 11 kilometres of median barrier will help prevent those serious crossover collisions and improve safety on this section of Highway 97 for all motorists.”
MLA for Vernon-Monashee Eric Foster -
“This safety upgrade to Highway 97 will improve the drive between Vernon and Lake Country, and make our region’s main highway safer for families, for visitors and for commercial users.”
MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country Norm Letnick -
“This addition of median barrier from Oyama north further improves safety on the main trade and tourist corridor highway through the Okanagan Valley. This builds on the $77.9 million investment to widen Highway 97 to four lanes between Winfield and Oyama, completed last year.”
The Rural Highway Safety and Speed Review Technical Summary Report and the Consultation and Engagement Summary Report are available online:
Consultation and Engagement Summary Report: www.th.gov.bc.ca/publications/reports_and_studies/RuralHwySafetySpeed/Rural_Hwy_Safety-Speed_Review_engagement.pdf
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure