Highway 97 rockslide: Two lanes open starting Friday

Click to play video: 'Drone view of rockslide on Highway 97 near Summerland, B.C.'
Drone view of rockslide on Highway 97 near Summerland, B.C.
A drone view of the rockslide on Highway 97 near Summerland, B.C., that's effectively cut the Okanagan in half – Aug 30, 2023

Weeks after a rockslide stymied traffic moving through Highway 97 near Summerland, two lanes will be open for traffic starting Friday.

The highway will officially open at noon, now that  Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure crews built a block wall to protect the road from falling rock.

“In addition, a 150-metre berm between the lock-block wall and the bottom of the slope was constructed to temporarily address slope movement,” the Ministry of Transportation said in a press release.

Click to play video: 'Okanagan locals find creative ways around Highway 97 rockslide'
Okanagan locals find creative ways around Highway 97 rockslide

The current fix is temporary, though construction of permanent stabilization measures will continue while geotechnical engineers monitor the site for changes in ground conditions.

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“Drivers are reminded that this portion of the road may need to be closed again with limited notice if it is deemed unsafe,” the ministry said.

“The site will be at a greater likelihood of closure should heavy rainfall occur.”

The highway was closed on Aug. 28  because of the rockslide. Since Sept. 11, it has been operating with single-lane-alternating traffic as crews worked to stabilize the hillside.

Click to play video: 'Highway 97 partially reopens near Summerland'
Highway 97 partially reopens near Summerland

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