The District of Lake Country has seen a lot of activity in recent months. If you’ve driven through the area on Highway 97, you may have seen dump trucks and heavy equipment. You may have even heard an explosion or two. It’s all part of our Winfield Oyama project – a critical part of the Okanagan Valley Corridor and one of the biggest construction projects we have underway at the moment. And as of the end of June, it was 50 per cent complete.Workers and politicians gathered to celebrate the 50 per cent completion of a new nine-kilometre section of Highway 97 between Winfield and Oyama on June 28, 2012.
Winfield to Oyama is the last two-lane section of Highway 97 between Highway 97C (the Okanagan Connector) and Armstrong and will greatly improve the capacity, reliability and safety of the route. That’s good news for those driving, with 22,000 vehicles travelling this road every day (expected to reach 35,000 by 2035).
As part of the construction, we’re relocating Highway 97 by building a new 9 km four-lane highway via a new alignment away from the lake shore between Winfield and Oyama.
To give you a sense of the scale of the project, we’re moving 1,300,000 m3 of earth. Having trouble picturing that? Imagine an Olympic-sized swimming pool filled with earth. Now add another 520 of those, and you’ll get a pretty good idea of how much earth is being moved.
The rock excavation is impressive too, with about 770,000 m3 being drilled and blasted. That’s about 44,000 large rock truck loads, which if placed end to end in a single line would stretch 360 km. That’s a whole lot of rock.
Everything’s going as planned, and we’re expecting this project to be completed next summer. If you’d like to keep track of the progress we’re making, you can visit the project website. We’ve also been documenting the project on Flickr, so you can see exactly what we’re up to.