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

New crack in hillside delays Highway 97 reopening

Highway was expected to reopen Wednesday

The reopening of Highway 97 is being delayed, and there is no estimate for when the route might be passable again.

According to the Ministry of Highways, a “new and significant crack in the slope” was discovered early Wednesday morning and all scaling crews have been pulled off the site for safety concerns.

The crack extends approximately 50 metres to the north and south of the current failure.

This new development means that the highway will not be able to reopen Wednesday as hoped.

Related: Highway 97 between Peachland and Summerland expected to open today

The slide, just north of Summerland, started Jan. 31 and the major route between the Central and South Okanagan, has been closed to traffic since Feb. 2.

Geotechnical engineers have already begun the assessment with a helicopter flight, and monitoring of this crack will continue today to determine when work can safely resume.

The alternate routes remain in place, and the ministry is strongly discouraging drivers from trying to travel on unmaintained routes.

Related: Penticton Search and Rescue rescues two drivers trying to bypass rockslide closure

The recommended route between Penticton and Kelowna — for light vehicles, five tons or less — is the 201 Forest Service Road, accessed off Highway 33 near McCollough Road near Kelowna, and via Warren Avenue/Carmi Avenue in Penticton.

The speed limit along the 201 Forest Service Road is 50 km/h, and people must drive with caution along this route, which does not typically experience a high volume of traffic. Drivers can expect up to 90 minutes of additional travel time compared to normal travel time between Summerland and Peachland on Highway 97.

Heavier vehicles and commercial trucks are required to detour via Highway 97C, Highway 5A and Highway 3A to Highway 3.

Check DriveBC.ca and @DriveBC on Twitter for updates on the Highway 97 closure.

Further updates will be provided as soon as there is more information available.


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

Improper waste disposal in Armstrong leaves worker with serious injury

The city’s waste collection contractor has seen two incidents of improper disposal in as many weeks

Collision in Vernon leaves van on its side

No apparent injuries were sustained as a result of the Friday morning crash

Gas prices rising across the Okanagan, Shuswap

Prices at some gas stations in the Okanagan sit around 115 cents a litre

Coldstream boat launches closed due to high water

All boat launches at the north end of Kalamalka Lake have been closed effective immediately

COVID-19: City of Vernon reviews steps taken to remain open

The city has remained open and fully operational during its pandemic response

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Police watchdog recommends charges against five Mounties in Prince George man’s death

Police used pepper spray on the man, who then had trouble breathing before dying at the scene

B.C. tourism seeks relief as businesses wait for COVID-19 restrictions to ease

Mid-June earliest for more in-province travel to be authorized

LETTER: Be aware of telephone scam

Call about vehicle warranty raised suspicions

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

B.C. woman launches First Nations search, rescue and patrol program

Linda Peters envisions trained searchers ready to go at moment’s notice in each B.C. First Nation

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Flood watch for Salmon River upgraded as high temperatures, rain forecast

Shuswap Emergency Program warns residents to prepare now for possible extreme flooding

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

Most Read