Million metres of rock moved

They've moved enough earth to almost stretch from coast to coast -- and they're not close to being finished.

Workers at the Highway 97 expansion project north of Summerland have removed more than one million cubic metres of rock and dirt.

They reached that milestone Friday under the watchful eye of Okanagan-Westside MLA, Rick Thorpe and Transportation Minister, Kevin Falcon.

Once the project is finished in the fall of 2009, 1.7 million cubic metres of earth will have been excavated, enough material to fill a line of dump trucks bumper-to-bumper from Vancouver to Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The $54 million project, which began in February, will four-lane a seven kilometre section of Highway 97 from Bentley Road to Okanagan Lake Park.

"It is good news for travelers through this corridor that construction is progressing so quickly," says Thorpe. This is an extensive excavation and the patience of drivers is greatly appreciated."

Arthon Construction of Kelowna is in charge of the project.

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