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

Wolf cubs at play in the Cranbrook area

Photographer Linda Botterill and her husband were out in the backcountry recently… Continue reading

First Saturday cancelled for July and August

Arts Council will wait to make a decision on September and Oktoberfest

City of Kimberley issues Boil Water Notice

The City of Kimberley issued a Boil Water Notice for all users… Continue reading

Impaired driver apprehended on Hwy 95A at 3:30 a.m. Saturday

Kimberley RCMP continued to remove impaired drivers from the roads. The latest… Continue reading

Hometown heroes: Search and Rescue president Peter Reid

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kimberley Search and Rescue (SAR)… Continue reading

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

B.C. NDP says Andrew Wilkinson is wrong about federal link

Parent, superintendent, trustee report smooth return to classrooms in B.C.

The biggest challenge is convincing families that it’s safe, some say

189 homes in Grand Forks area given evacuation orders

Homes are in the Nursery, Grand Forks Airport, Gilpin Rd., Johnson Flats and Granby Rd. areas

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Most Read