Central Okanagan Multi-modal Corridor

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A long term plan for a future Bypass was completed in 2007 - referred to as the Central Okanagan Multi-modal Corridor (COMC). The objective of the Functional Planning study was to establish the future form and function of the transportation corridor to include all travel modes and connections to the city’s road network. As part of the study an interim phased strategy was developed, ensuring minimal disruption to traffic and fiscally responsible. 

What's happening?

Project Timeline



Phase Two

Next steps include the detailed design of the first phase of a controlled access multi-modal (road, cycling, rail) corridor east of Spall Road to Highway 33. Detailed Design and financing strategy is underway. Construction is pending budget approvals.

  • A 4-lane limited access road from Spall to Highway 33 with interchanges at strategic locations
  • Extension of Rails with Trails within city-owned right-of-way to Mill Creek Linear Park
  • Protection of the rail line for future growth

Ultimate plan

Designed for free-flowing conditions with grade separated interchanges accommodating higher capacity and operating speeds. Provisions for the future bypass from McCurdy to UBC Okanagan will be a part of a longer term vision linking to a second crossing of Okanagan Lake.

The route

The Kelowna bypass route starts near University Way on Highway 97, and travels in a south-westerly direction, intersecting with Sexsmith Road, and linking to Highway 33 passing through a proposed flyover at McCurdy Road.

The route continues southerly at the base of Dilworth Mountain towards the next intersection at Spall Road with another midpoint flyover planned at Dilworth Drive. Beyond Spall Road, the bypass intersects with Clifton Road towards Gordon Drive where it follows the rail corridor at the base of Knox Mountain to the north end of the downtown.

From downtown a future second crossing of Okanagan Lake was identified as the preferred location for a connection to Westside Road in West Kelowna.

The total length of the project is approximately 12 kilometres. The future bypass is classified as a freeway/highway and considered to replace the existing Highway 97 running through the centre of Kelowna.

Highway 97 was designated as part of the National Highway System in 2004.


In 2006, the City of Kelowna was successful in its application to Transport Canada  under the funding program titled Transportation Planning and Modal Integration Initiatives Program with the assistance of IBI Groups assistance in developing the application.

One of the key outcomes of the funding initiative was to create a corridor plan to include as many modes of transportation as possible.

In this case everything from heavy to light rail, to commuter and recreational pathways to the movement of goods and services was achieved.

Other objectives of this corridor include relief on congested roadways by diverting auto and truck traffic through to the COMC. The City has confirmed a preferred corridor alignment and protection of the necessary right-of-way.

A broad and comprehensive list of internal city departments, external agencies and indirectly and directly affected stakeholders formed a key component of the overall communications plan.

In a cooperative effort between the City of Kelowna and the  BC Ministry of Transportation  data was collected including previous studies, master plans, traffic data, aerial photography and topographical mapping, outline plans and appropriate design standards.

Urban Systems Ltd  and  Associated Engineering  worked collaboratively in developing corridor plans and profiles, geometric design elements, intersection and interchange plans, bridge structure and storm water management plans.

For the ultimate plans the City of Kelowna provided traffic volume forecasts and horizons. Although beyond the current Official Community Plan it was determined that longer term horizons helped to establish longer range planning requirements.


Maps and graphics

Project information sheets