Councillors oppose Boucherie interchange

The idea of an interchange at the intersection of Highway 97 and Boucherie Road is not sitting well with most West Kelowna councillors.

Proposed by the Ministry of Transportation last year, the interchange is in the conceptual planning stage with further public engagement expected late this summer. Initial public consultations show 74% of residents are in support of the project.

But at Tuesday’s council meeting this week, Mayor Doug Findlater reiterated his concern that construction of the interchange will impact surrounding roads.

“If they’re really intent on doing it I think we have to ask for some off-site improvements on some of these other roads,” Findlater said “we need their help to upgrade some of these other roads that are going to take the brunt of traffic for 4 years, avoiding construction zone”

The comments were in response to a letter to council from Transportation Minister Todd Stone, who wrote that the planned improvements are a step towards increased safety and mobility along the corridor.

The letter also says the Boucherie Road intersection is one of the most collision-prone locations west of the William R. Bennett Bridge.

While most councillors agreed with Findlater, Councillor Rick de Jong spoke in favour of the interchange, pending confirmation of the construction timeline, asking councillors why a safety improvement at the intersection, funded by the province, shouldn't be supported.