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‘Patience of a saint’: Landslide detour affected Summerland residents

Additional traffic observed on Giants Head Road during highway closure
Highway 97 in Summerland was closed on June 6 following a landslide. During this closure and previous closures resulting from landslides, traffic detoured through Summerland, affecting residents in the community. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Traffic detoured through Summerland as a landslide closed off Highway 97 near Lakeshore Drive on June 6.

The slide was just north of an earlier slide that had occurred in early May.

When the road was closed, DriveBC advised detours using Highway 97C, Highway 5A and Highway 3 to bypass the community.

READ ALSO: Highway 97 open to single alternating lanes after landslide in Summerland

READ ALSO: Second slide in 3 days spews dust at bottom of Summerland Hill

This detour adds several hours of travel time between Penticton and Summerland.

During the slides on Highway 97, many motorists used streets in Summerland to detour the slide area. This resulted in a much shorter slowdown.

While the detour through town was considerably shorter than the DriveBC route, the extra volume of traffic in the community was noticeable, said Graham Statt, chief administrative officer for Summerland.

In addition, the route through Summerland, using Johnson Street, Fir Avenue, Gartrell Road and Giants Head Road, involves winding sections and is not suitable for large truck and trailer units.

“The detour does not do well to accommodate these large trucks,” he said.

Residents of Giants Head Road have been affected by the additional traffic during recent slides. In addition, residents of this road have also had previous traffic issues when upgrade work was done in this area.

“I have to applaud the patience of the residents of Giants Head Road,” Statt said. “They have demonstrated the patience of a saint.”

At present Highway 97 in Summerland is open to single-lane alternating traffic.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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