Highway 97 north of Summerland could be open by end of week

Detour in place as crews continue to clear rock slide and stabilize area

ROAD WORK Crews are working to clear a rock slide on Highway 97 north of Summerland. If there are no further delays and if there is no further slide movement, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure expects the road could be open by this weekend. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

Highway 97 north of Summerland could be open to traffic by the end of this week as crews continue to clear a rock slide in the area.

“We’re doing everything possible to have the highway open to traffic as soon as possible,” said Mike Lorimer, Executive Director of Highway Operations for the Southern Interior Region.

There has been no new movement at the slide since Friday and officials with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure expect the highway will be open to traffic by the end of next week if there are no further weather challenges or slide movement.

Construction and scaling crews have been making progress at the site.

Excavators continued to pull down material over the weekend and will continue breaking and pulling down rock this week.

Scalers are not required now as work can safely be completed by heavy equipment, but there may still need to be a few more sections scaled or blasted

The slide occurred on the evening of Jan. 31. Since Feb. 2, the road has been closed to traffic at the slide area, but a detour is in place around the site.

The Callan Road detour is open 24 hours a day, with occasional stoppages for blasting work.

The speed limit through the detour is 30 kilometres an hour.

Commercial vehicles wider than 3.8 metres are only allowed through the detour between midnight and 5 a.m.

Pedestrians and cyclists are not allowed in the detour.

Motorists from Summerland say the detour does not add much time to a drive to or from Kelowna.

“It was fair to good conditions. A little rough on the short gravel patch in and out of the Callan Road detour,” Peg Barcelo said in a Facebook comment. “Got to Kelowna in the usual time frame as before the slide.”

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