Monday morning for commuters travelling between Penticton, Summerland, Peachland and Kelowna looks like it is going to be a little easier.
Starting at 5 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 11, a Highway 97 detour will be available using nearby Callan Road, providing drivers with a safe, two-lane direct route around the highway closure north of Summerland.
This 900-metre detour will accommodate both light vehicles and commercial vehicles. The speed limit along the detour route is 30 km/h. drivers are reminded they should have good winter tires, obey the speed limit and drive with caution.
The highway connecting South Okanagan communities with the north and central parts of the valley has been closed for more than a week after rock slides caused safety concerns. Two lengthy alternate routes were groomed, but the Callan Road detour promises near normal passage around the slide area.
Extensive work and geotechnical assessments will continue on the slope above Highway 97 and ministry staff will continue to work as hard as possible to have the highway reopened to traffic as soon as it is safe to do so.
While this detour is active, there will be occasional periodic stoppages to allow for blasting work. These stoppages will not occur between the hours of 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Commercial vehicles that exceed 3.8 metres in width are only permitted on the detour between midnight and 5 a.m. Pedestrians and cyclists will not be permitted on the detour.
The work on the Callan Road detour route involved building a two-lane connection from Callan Road to Highway 97 on the south side of the slide and widening of the existing intersection on the north side, to allow for commercial vehicle use of this detour.
Argo Road Maintenance Inc. will monitor Callan Road and will carry out snow plowing and sanding along the route as necessary to maintain the safest conditions possible.
The alternative routes previously provided by forest service roads are no longer necessary and maintenance of these routes will not continue.
Drivers should continue to check DriveBC.ca and @DriveBC on Twitter for the most up-to-date information.
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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