Central Okanagan Planning Study

The purpose of the Central Okanagan Planning Study is to understand transportation needs in the area and to develop route proposals to address mobility issues. The study looks at the needs of the travelling public, community land use plans, provincial transportation priorities and preferred locations for an alternate Okanagan Lake crossing.

Banner for Central Okanagan Planning Study

The study team is working with the Local Governments, Indigenous Communities and the Regional District of the Central Okanagan to ensure that Provincial, regional and local transportation plans are aligned.

The population of the Central Okanagan is steadily increasing at a higher rate than the provincial average and is expected to grow 36% over the next 20 years.

Highway 97 is the “spine” of the transportation network in the Central Okanagan and currently performs many functions: supporting goods movement in, out and through the area, carrying local, inter-regional and inter-provincial traffic of all kinds, including transit, providing local access to residential, employment, educational, and commercial centres, delivering virtually unlimited access to the local and regional road networks, and offering the only practical route between communities on opposite sides of Okanagan Lake. Many of these functions are incompatible with one another, leading to operational conflicts, overload and congestion.

Central Okanagan Planning Study Area

Central Okanagan Planning Study Area Map


The Options Screening & Review phase is underway.

Aligning with local and regional plans

In 2018 the Sustainable Transportation Partnership of the Central Okanagan (STPCO) and City of Kelowna each initiated transportation planning studies to develop long term regional transportation strategies. These are expected to complete in late 2019. We are working closely with both groups. The work to date on Central Okanagan Planning Study (COPS) will help to inform both of these plans. These transportation plans are important inputs into the final phase of COPS and will provide a stronger connection to regional/municipal plans.

The final phase of the Central Okanagan Planning Study is scheduled to begin toward the end of 2019. It will evaluate the recommended improvements and strategy for the transportation system, including the 2nd crossing. 

Community Engagement

See Community Engagement for detailed information about the ongoing dialogue with local governments, Indigenous communities, stakeholders and the public, as well as study results to date.