February 19, 2019 5:08 pm
Updated: February 19, 2019 9:53 pm

Highway 97 rockslide in Okanagan could be cleared by next week: Ministry of Transportation

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If all goes well, the Highway 97 rockslide near Summerland should be cleared by the end of next week, the Ministry of Transportation announced on Tuesday.

The ministry said work is continuing on the slide site, with the goal of reopening the highway as soon as it is safe to do so.

However, the ministry also said site monitoring has shown no new slope movement over the past five days, which has allowed construction and scaling crews at the site to make good progress.

A view of the slope and rockslide along Highway 97 near Summerland.

Ministry of Transportation

WATCH BELOW: (Aired Feb. 15, 2019) Price tag to clear Highway 97 rockslide pegged at $1 million

“Excavators continued to pull down material over the weekend and will continue breaking and pulling down rock this week,” said the ministry. “Scalers are not required at this point, as work can safely be completed by heavy equipment, but there may still need to be a few more sections scaled and or blasted as we work towards an opening.

“If there are no further challenges (such as severe weather) or slide movement, we are hoping to restore traffic to the highway by the end of next week.”

Traffic along the Callan Road detour on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2019.

Ministry of Transportation

The ministry noted that the Callan Road detour continues to work well and is open 24 hours a day, with occasional stoppages for blasting work. The speed limit through the detour is 30 km/h, and pedestrians and cyclists are not permitted on the detour. Commercial vehicles that exceed 3.8 metres in width can only use the detour between midnight and 5 a.m.

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