Highway 97 Improvements to Bring Better Road Conditions for Kelowna Drivers

Kelowna, British Columbia, March 28, 2013 – The governments of Canada and British Columbia announced new funding today for the expansion and upgrade of over 4.5 kilometres of Highway 97 through Kelowna.

This project will widen Highway 97 between Highway 33 and Edwards Road from four to six lanes and upgrade intersections along the same stretch. Widening the highway and reconstructing congested intersections will increase capacity, make travel safer and better connect the downtown core with the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus.

These improvements will also benefit commuters to areas north of downtown including the Quail Ridge residential area, the Kelowna Airport and the Industrial Park.

"Investments in Canada's public infrastructure create jobs, economic growth and provide a high quality of life for families in every city and community across the country," said Ron Cannan, Member of Parliament for Kelowna—Lake Country, on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. "Highway 97 upgrades in Kelowna will help residents and visitors reach their destinations safely and more efficiently for years to come."

"This $50-million project will build on the improvements done to Highway 97 through Kelowna over the last number of years," said Kelowna—Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, on behalf of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Mary Polak. "This work will improve traffic flow at the northern entrance to the city, and make for more efficient and safer connections to UBCO, Quail Ridge, Rutland, Glenmore, Ellison, Lake Country and beyond for motorists, cyclists and transit users."

The Government of Canada is setting aside up to $18 million through the Building Canada Fund – Major Infrastructure Component for this project, with the Province of British Columbia providing $32.2 million, for a total project cost of $50.2 million. Federal funding is conditional on the project meeting all of the requirements under the Building Canada Fund and the signing of a contribution agreement with the province.

Preliminary work is underway. Construction is expected to begin in 2014 and should be completed by Fall 2016. This work will build on the $1.3 billion invested in highway improvements in the Thompson-Okanagan since 2001.

Canada's Economic Action Plan 2013 is delivering a new Building Canada Plan to build roads, bridges, subways, commuter rail, and other public infrastructure in cooperation with provinces, territories, and municipalities. Thanks to the Government of Canada's leadership and our strong economic and financial fundamentals, the Canadian economy has recovered from the global recession better than most other industrialized countries. Canada has been a leader among G-7 countries throughout the recovery with more than 950,000 net new jobs created since July 2009. The new Building Canada Plan, combined with other federal infrastructure investments, supports Canada's infrastructure advantage, a key enabler of economic growth and job creation.

For additional information about federal investments in infrastructure and to stay up-to-date with Web feeds, visit Infrastructure Canada. To find out what the Government of Canada is doing to promote jobs, growth and prosperity, visit Canada's Economic Action Plan.

Learn more about transportation projects happening throughout BC at: Transportation Projects BC.

Connect with the Province of British Columbia on the Government of British Columbia site.

For more information, contact:

Geneviève Sicard
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities

Kate Trotter
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

Infrastructure Canada
Toll free: 1-877-250-7154

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