A Costco Wholesale store in Kelowna located at the corner of Highway 97 and Highway 33 in Kelowna. The big box store will soon move to a new location on Leckie Road. (File)

A Costco Wholesale store in Kelowna located at the corner of Highway 97 and Highway 33 in Kelowna. The big box store will soon move to a new location on Leckie Road. (File)

Kelowna council expedites road improvements in anticipation of new Costco

Highway 97 and Leckie Road improvements to cost $1.14 million, costs split between the city, Costco and the province

The City of Kelowna is attempting to combat traffic concerns surrounding a new Costco before the big box store is even built.

City council has approved the allocation of $500,000 from reserves in its 2021 budget to expedite improvements to the Highway 97 and Leckie Road intersection.

“It’d be a shame if, on opening day, that intersection was not working that well,” planning manager Ryan Smith told Kelowna city council during a Monday (April 19) meeting.

A traffic impact study showed challenges are already prevalent in the area and would be exacerbated by Costco’s introduction to the area, a concern residents of the area have long expressed.

“It was either improve it in the months ahead … Or be forced to improve it on potentially an even shorter timeline if there were major traffic volume concerns (after Costco opens),” Smith said.

The project is estimated to cost $1.14 million and work could begin before the end of the year. Costco is kicking in $474,000, the city is committing $466,000 and the Ministry of Transportation is providing $200,000. However, if the project doesn’t happen before March 31, 2022, the province will cut its contribution to $150,000.

The city is looking to recuperate its portion of the cost through ‘latecomer’ charges imposed on future developments on a large stretch of the Highway 97 corridor between Spall Road and McCurdy Road. The city said the investment should be recovered in approximately five years.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


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