South Perimeter Road expansion on track for 2019

A new road between central Kelowna and the Upper Mission is opening years before originally thought.

City staff say that an extension of South Perimeter Road will give a third option for driving between the two parts of town, joining Lakeshore Road and Gordon Drive.

The extension between Gordon and Stewart Road West will open in 2019, after it was fast tracked by council in 2012, when developers offered to pay up front for it, to appeal to new homes being built in the Mission and Southeast Kelowna.

In the report, staff is also making clear that the addition of a third route isn't expected to dramatically change volume delays on Lakeshore and Gordon during rush hour times.

However, South Perimeter will act as a "safety valve" for those other two, when they're more signficantly impacted by delays.

Stewart Road, Saucier Road, and Bedford Road will also be upgraded in the next couple years to handle more vehicles.

The extension of South Perimeter is between Gordon and Stewart Road West, and will take about 17 minutes to drive from there to Highway 97, according to staff estimates.

That's about the same amount of time as a drive up from Gordon and Frost Road, and six minutes longer than driving up Lakeshore from Uplands Drive.

300 people from the Upper Mission were randomly surveyed three years ago, and said they wanted to see the timelines on South Perimeter Road sped up, even if it was at the expense of other projects.