February 11, 2019 7:21 pm
Updated: February 11, 2019 7:55 pm

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

A new detour around the Highway 97 rock slide opened Monday morning. Travis Lowe reports.

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Although the Summerland rock slide continues to move, a new 900-metre detour below the highway on Callan Road has opened.

“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.

READ MORE: Update: Callan Road rockslide detour opens Monday morning

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 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.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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