Parkway soon in local hands

A former strip of Highway 97 will soon be turned over to the District of Lake Country.

Pelmewash Parkway, arguably one of the most scenic drives in the region, along the shores of Wood Lake, will become municipal property in 2018, with the signing of an agreement for its transfer from the Ministry of Transportation.

“Everyone agrees that the Pelmewash Parkway corridor will be a significant public asset which will really define Lake Country,” said Mayor James Baker. “We appreciate the support from (MLA) Norm Letnick in helping us to work through the transfer agreement process with the province.”

The new alignment of Highway 97 in the hills above the lake was opened four years ago, and the road renamed Pelmewash Parkway.

In November 2013, Lake Country council endorsed a concept plan for public amenities and improvements along the stretch of blacktop.

“Council and staff have been working for quite a while to secure access to this corridor along Wood Lake, and we are pleased that an agreement has now been signed and we can move on with the detail design phase,” said CAO Alberto De Feo. “It will be great to see some of the community’s ideas given some real definition.

“Recreation opportunities and active transportation concepts like bike paths and walkways were key themes that emerged in the public consultation. The Pelmewash Parkway amenity will be a very good complement to the section of Okanagan Rail Trail corridor through our community.”

One of the highest community issues was to increase access points to the waterfront, a survey of residents found.

The initial work will involve roadway resurfacing and active transportation initiatives as the first phase of a multi-year project.

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