Approximate location of highway widening project between Okanagan Falls and Oliver

Approximate location of highway widening project between Okanagan Falls and Oliver

Work begins on $10M highway widening in South Okanagan

New passing lanes being added to 1.5-km stretch between Oliver and Okanagan Falls.

A $10-million highway widening project is now underway in the South Okanagan.

Work began Nov. 1 to add passing lanes in each direction on a 1.5-kilometre stretch of Highway 97 just north of Gallagher Lake between Oliver and Okanagan Falls. Crews must first relocate an irrigation canal before the actual roadwork can begin.

At present there are no passing lanes on the 28-kilometre stretch of Highway 97 between Vaseux Lake and Deadman Lake.

“This project will make a huge difference to drivers between Oliver and Okanagan Falls. Almost 70 per cent of the existing road has no passing lanes, which can be frustrating. These improvements will mean a smoother, safer, and less stressful drive,” Boundary-Similkameen MLA John Slater said in a press release.

The improved stretch of roadway will feature a paved, 2.6-metre median, two-metre shoulders, plus rumble strips and roadside barriers as required. Work is expected to finish by March 15, 2013.