Highway 97 between Summerland and Peachland was expected to reopen Wednesday, but a new crack in the hillside has delayed work on the slope. File photo

UPDATE: New crack discovered above rockslide leaves B.C. highway closed

Highway 97 between Summerland and Kelowna was expected to reopen Wednesday

Highway 97 north of Summerland remains closed as crews continue to work to stabilize the rock face.

A week ago, on the evening of Jan. 31, a rock slide affected the highway just north of Summerland. While the road was still open that evening and the following day, conditions have changed and it has been closed since Friday night.

Crews had hoped to have the highway opened by Wednesday afternoon, but on Wednesday morning, a new and significant crack was discovered approximately 50 metres north and south of the current failure.

RELATED: New crack in hillside delays Highway 97 reopening

Mike Lorimer, Executive Director of Highway Operations for the Southern Interior Region, said efforts are being made to stabilize the rock face, but the road remains closed without a projected date of when it could reopen.

“We don’t have a time line for that,” Lorimer said. “The ‘when’ will be when it’s safe.”

However, he added that the delay is likely to last for days rather than for weeks before the road will be reopened.

Crews are working on the upper part of the slide area to stabilize the rock face.

RELATED: Crews have removed more than 500 cubic metres from rock slide site

Lorimer said the crews are dealing with extreme weather conditions during some of the coldest days of the winter.

“It’s some pretty ugly conditions,” he said. “With the winds and the temperatures, it’s pretty challenging.”

Until the road is reopened, two detours are in place.

One of the detours involved Highway 3A, Highway 3, Highway 5A and Highway 97.

Another detour, for vehicles five tonnes or less followed the 201 Forest Service Road. The road can be accessed via Warren Avenue and Carmi Avenue in Penticton and off Highway 33 near McCulloch Road in Kelowna. Signage and traffic control have been installed at both locations.

The speed limit along this road is 50 kilometres an hour.

“The detour routes are not ideal by any stretch of the imagination.” Lorimer said.

While ministry officials are looking at alternate routes, he advises against motorists using unmarked detour routes.


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or message me on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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

Just Posted

Rio Tinto donates masks to Kitimat RCMP officers

Providing safety glasses as well

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Northwest Regional Airport says ridership extremely low amid COVID-19

The airport has enacted enhanced sanitary measures and reduced flights

Shames Mountain pleads for public to stay away from ski hill following large social gathering

Camera footage shows a parking lot full of people mingling, ignoring social distancing mandate

Coastal GasLink will consult with health authorities before construction recommences

The company continues to perform environmental monitoring, pipe delivery and stockpile

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Frontline workers receiving COVID-19 isolation exemptions prompt concerns

Provincial Health Authority staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel

Most Read