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Ceremony launches Highway 97 project

Lake Country Mayor James Baker (left), MLAs Steve Thomson and Norm Letnick and MP Ron Cannan climb aboard a truck Friday that will be used in the Highway 97 realignment between Oyama and Winfield.  - Sean Connor/Black Press
Lake Country Mayor James Baker (left), MLAs Steve Thomson and Norm Letnick and MP Ron Cannan climb aboard a truck Friday that will be used in the Highway 97 realignment between Oyama and Winfield.
— image credit: Sean Connor/Black Press

A long-anticipated highway project is underway.

The politicians responsible for securing funding for the Highway 97 realignment between Oyama and Winfield met Friday afternoon at an official groundbreaking ceremony.

“With increased capacity, mobility, and reliability comes a more fundamental improvement: safety,” said MLA Norm Letnick.

“Visitors and commuters alike will appreciate a much faster and safer drive.”

The realignment will tie into Highway 97 at Evans Road in Oyama and at Oceola Road in Winfield.

Letnick went on to give credit to his political predecessors, Al Horning and John Weisbeck who first brought the deadly stretch of highway to the attention of the Ministry of Transportation.

Lake Country Mayor James Baker says the relocation of the highway is also beneficial to the protection of the Wood Lake fishery.

The cost of the highway is $77.7 million, with the province paying for $44.3 million and the federal government covering the remainder.

Windley Contracting has the project contract, with a completion date set for the summer of 2013.

Upon completion, the existing highway along Wood Lake will be transferred from the ministry to the District of Lake Country.

Preliminary planning discussions around the municipal council table suggest the road will be turned into a recreation corridor.

 

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