Monday update: Summerland rock slide continues to move, new detour opens

Monday update: Summerland rock slide continues to move, new detour opens
To make the new detour, the transportation ministry brought in more than 3,000 cubic metres of silt to build a ramp from Callan Road to #Hwy97 . Crews worked around the clock. Meanwhile, the rockslide keeps moving.

“We are still seeing slope movement at the south side of the site, and Highway 97 remains closed with no estimated time for reopening,” said Paula Cousins, the transportation ministry’s deputy director of the Southern Interior region.

However, movement hasn’t been seen on the north side of the rock slide, she added.

Drilling and blasting continue at the site.

“It is slow work, and there is significant drilling involved in pretty extreme temperatures,” Cousins said. “We are slowly plugging away at removing the material that we’re hopeful is contributing to the movement.”

The ministry installed a lock block wall on #Hwy97 to ensure rocks don’t hit Callan Rd. “After we realized this closure may be longer than we were hoping, we brought in some specific ground and helicopter Lidar monitoring equipment that allows us to observe slide movement.”

The speed limit along the detour is 30 km/h. The road is open to commercial vehicles, but trucks that exceed 3.8 metres in width are only allowed between midnight and 5 a.m.

The forest service roads that had previously been opened as detours will no longer be maintained.

“Travel on these routes is discouraged for safety reasons,” Cousins said.

The ministry has not investigated a route that would bypass the area because the cost to put a new highway in is incredibly significant, Cousins said.

“The ministry continues to invest in Highway 97 corridor to ensure that it’s safe and reliable for travellers, but we have not explored a bypass in that area.”
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