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

Just Posted

Smoke-free summer a boon for West Kootenay tourism

Tourism centres seeing numbers up

Elk River reclaims property as its own

Laws make it harder to protect private land than ever before says farmer, local government

Black Press Kootenay Career Fair underway in Cranbrook

Today, Thursday, August 22, around 40 employers will be waiting to meet potential new employees

Cannings to pedal through South Okanagan — West Kootenay riding

MP leaves from Nakusp on Aug. 23 and ends in Kaleden on Aug. 29.

UPDATED: MV Balfour ferry returns to service

The 65-year-old ferry had been out of action for a month

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

NDP bring Green New Deal to the Kootenays

MPs Wayne Stetski and Peter Julian held climate change talks in Nelson, Cranbrook and Revelstoke

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

Most Read