ROCK SLIDE WORK Crews continue to clear a rock slide on Highway 97 north of Summerland. The slide occurred Jan. 31 and since Feb. 2, the highway has been closed, although a detour is in place. The highway is expected to reopen early next week. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

Highway 97 reopening expected by next week

Rock slide north of Summerland has resulted in road closure since Feb. 2

Crews are still working to clear the rock slide on Highway 97, but the road at the site remains closed and a detour is still in place.

Steve Sirett, district manager, transportation with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, said the ministry nowe expects to have the highway open early next week.

For almost a month, a rock slide has affected traffic on Highway 97 in the Okanagan Valley.

The slide occurred on the evening of Jan. 31 and the highway has been closed since Feb. 2.

However, there has been no new movement over the past 12 days, allowing excavators to continue breaking and pulling down rock and debris.

So far, around 13,000 cubic metres of material has been removed from the slide. This is enough to fill more than five Olympic swimming pools.

The amount of material is around three times more than originally estimated as the back slope is deeper than expected, ministry officials say.

The material is being hauled to the Bentley Pit, a few kilometres south of the slide area.

“As we continue to remove material and expose the slope, we expect to come across bigger sections of rock needing to be drilled and blasted, as excavators won’t be able to break it down. If there are no further challenges — like severe weather or slide movement — we are hoping to restore traffic to the highway by the end of next week,” a ministry statement read.

Sirett said an estimated 27,000 cubic metres has slid at the site.

“As we started to remove the material, the failure of the slide was quite a bit deeper than we had expected,” he said.

When the highway opens up, Sirett said it will be three lanes initially, with the lane closest to the rock face remaining closed.

RELATED: Crews continuing to clear rock north of Summerland

RELATED: Rock slide on Highway 97 north of Summerland beginning to stabilize

Ministry officials say they want to see how the site reacts as the temperatures warm up.

Sirett said the crews at the site deserve credit for their efforts during some difficult conditions.

“We certainly have to recognize the team and what they’ve been doing,” he said. “It’s been some unseasonably cold weather. Their commitment and dedication to getting this road open has been truly amazing.”

While the work at the site continues, the Callan Road detour remains in place. The detour is open 24 hours a day, with occasional stoppages for blasting work.

The speed limit at the detour is 30 kilometres an hour. Pedestrians and cyclists are not permitted on the detour.

Vehicles wider than 3.8 metres are only allowed on the detour between midnight at 5 a.m.

So far, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has spent more than $500,000 on all the work related to this rock slide, including the construction of the Callan Road detour.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

ChargerQuest expands its EV charging network into Kelowna

The new stations can be found at Manteo Beach Resort and the Eldorado Hotel

Kelowna resident warns North Glenmore community of active thieves in the area

Two thieves stole a pontoon boat from a residence on May 23

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Penticton Search and Rescue airlifts injured mountain biker near Naramata

The Penticton Fire Department initially took the call and attended to the injured biker.

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Vancouver Foundation grants benefit Okanagan-Shuswap residents

Grants of up to $500 available for ideas that connect people socially or involve sharing skills

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Water quality advisory rescinded for Central Okanagan system

Turbidity levels improve enough to rescind advisory issued for Killiney Beach system May 11

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

UPDATE: Two sent to hospital following Okanagan highway accident

Drivers in head-on collision air-lifted to hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries

Most Read