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News Release


Highway 97 now four lanes from Penticton to Greata Ranch

Summerland, British Columbia, September 7, 2010 – The completion of the Highway

97 Bentley Road to Okanagan Lake Park project was celebrated today by Stockwell Day,
President of the Treasury Board of Canada and Minister of the Asia-Pacific Gateway and
MP Okanagan-Coquihalla, Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Shirley Bond,
Penticton MLA Bill Barisoff and other community leaders.

The new four-lane portion of Highway 97 from Bentley Road to Okanagan Lake Park
creates a 35-km stretch of continuous four-lane highway from Penticton to Greata Ranch,
just south of Peachland.

“This investment in upgrades to Highway 97 builds on the Government of Canada’s

commitment to improve highway safety across Canada,” said Minister Day. “This work
will make life better for commuters and residents in the Okanagan Valley and is just one
of the partnership investments our governments are making through the Provincial-
Territorial Base Fund.”

“We’re improving Highway 97 right through the Okanagan Valley to meet the needs of
one of the fastest growing regions of the province,” said Bond. “By upgrading this stretch
of Highway 97 to four lanes, we’ve created a safer route for residents, visitors and for
commercial traffic in the Okanagan. I want to say a very special thank you to everyone
who worked so hard to complete this significant project. Without the skill and expertise
of hundreds of workers, this project would not have been possible.”

The initiative involved widening a seven-kilometre stretch of Highway 97 to four lanes

and constructing three kilometres of frontage roads to consolidate local accesses. In
addition to improved mobility and reduced congestion, motorists will also benefit from
safety improvements, including wider paved shoulders, rumble strips and roadside

Construction crews were faced with a significant challenge in October 2008 when a large
fissure was discovered on a rock slope above the highway just north of Summerland. The
highway was closed for 19 days while the site was stabilized. Approximately 55,000
cubic metres of rock had to be blasted from the site.
“This initiative greatly improves the safety of an important stretch of highway,” said
MLA Barisoff. “It was a challenging initiative and I thank the workers for a tremendous
job, and the travelling public and residents of the South Okanagan for their patience.”

The Province partnered with the Government of Canada to fund the Highway 97 Bentley
Road to Okanagan Lake Park initiative. Since 2001, over $900 million has been invested
in upgrading roads, highways, bridges and transit in the Okanagan Valley.

A total of 17 major projects have been completed in the Okanagan Valley since 2001 and
a further 21 projects are underway, with expected completion by the end of 2012.

Contacts: John Babcock Dave Crebo

Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl Public Affairs Bureau
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure Ministry of Transportation and
and Communities Infrastructure
613-991-0700 250-387-7787