Highway 97 at the Summerland rock slide site is now open and earlier than expected.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) announced it opened the highway on Monday, Sept. 11 at 6 p.m., to single-lane-alternating traffic. The original timeline to open was the weekend of Sept. 16.
Over the past two weeks, MOTI contractors have been working to build a large lock-block wall to protect the highway from falling rock.
Crews continue to construct a 150-metre-long berm between the wall and the bottom of the slope.
The berm is partially complete and has significantly slowed movement of the rock material at the site, allowing the furthest lane from the slope to reopen to single-lane-alternating travel, stated the ministry in a press release. Drivers can expect delays of up to 30 minutes at the site during peak travel times.
#BCHwy97 north of #SummerlandBC to open at 6 pm today (Sept. 11) to single-lane-alternating traffic. Expect delays of up to 30 minutes during peak times. This section may need to be closed again with limited notice if deemed unsafe. Check https://t.co/w6Nkfhtzjs before you go. pic.twitter.com/lmtCqzkjAr— BC Transportation (@TranBC) September 12, 2023
Drivers are reminded that this portion of the road may need to be closed again with limited notice if deemed unsafe. The site will be at greater likelihood of closure should heavy rainfall occur.
Motorists are asked to use caution, obey speed limits and follow directions of traffic-control personnel.
Maintenance and upkeep of the detour routes will remain active at this time to ensure they are still viable alternative routes if and when needed. Before planning your route, continue to check drivebc.ca.
At this time, there is no timeline on when the highway will fully re-open to traffic in both directions.
The section of highway closed Aug. 28, after a significant rock slide brought large boulders and power poles onto the highway.
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