Highway gearing down

Lake Country council will ask the Ministry of Transportation to immediately reduce the speed limit on the current Highway 97 along Wood Lake

Lake Country officials want assurances that a recreational corridor will be available immediately.

Council will ask the Ministry of Transportation to immediately reduce the speed limit on the current Highway 97 along Wood Lake as soon as the new upper-level highway opens some time this summer.

“It will take about a year for (ownership of) the highway to devolve to us and the province will still have control until then,” said Mayor James Baker.

“We want people to enjoy slower traffic there.”

Until the municipality actually owns the roadway along Wood Lake and can make traffic-related decisions, Coun. Owen Dickie insists there is a need for the ministry to ensure the safety of residents.

“The vast majority of citizens want the parkway to include safe areas for pedestrians and cyclists,” he said.

The ministry is being asked to reduce the speed limit along the lake from 80 to 50 kilometres an hour once the upper-level route is open. Council also wants the road, eventually to be known as Pelmewash Parkway, to be closed to commercial vehicle through-traffic.

Dickie says the road would still be available for buses and licensed farm vehicles.

“It’s important for Oyama farmers to have a flat and slow route to haul fruit to the processing plant in Winfield,” he said.