Shawn Lee (left)

Shawn Lee (left)

Conditions improved at intersection

One of Vernon’s busiest intersections is easier to manoeuvre.

One of Vernon’s busiest intersections is easier to manoeuvre.

A ceremony was held Wednesday to mark the completion of $5 million in upgrades to 32nd Street and 25th Avenue at Polson Park.

“It will help with the movement of traffic,” said Eric Foster, Vernon-Monashee MLA.

“I use the intersection every time I am in town and I have seen a huge improvement.”

The intersection experiences 23,000 to 24,000 vehicles daily.

The project included the addition of dual opposing left-turn lanes, eastbound and westbound on to Highway 97 (32nd Street).

Modified right-turn lanes at all four corners of the intersection were also constructed to allow for safer sight distances.

Pedestrian sidewalks were improved as were paved shoulders with bicycle markings.

“We want to move traffic more efficiently and safely,” said Colin Mayes, Okanagan-Shuswap MP.

The project was part of an attempt by the federal and provincial governments to stimulate the economy.

“It was a priority for Vernon and I asked (federal officials) that it be at the top of the list,” said Mayes.

The City of Vernon has been concerned about traffic flow and accidents at the intersection for a number of years.

“We had a growth period from 2000 to 2008 and traffic overwhelmed the intersection,” said Coun. Shawn Lee.

“This project shows me what kind of good things can happen when three levels of government come together.”

Lee drives through the area three or four times a day to reach work or home. He has seen significant improvements since the project was completed.

“It used to be a high-blood pressure thing for me and now it’s a lark,” he said.