Bypass in place around Highway 97 rock slide

Motorists to follow Callan Road past slide site north of Summerland

Traffic is moving along Highway 97 north of Summerland now that a bypass has been put in place around a rock slide.

The slide occurred Jan. 31 and since Feb. 2, the highway had been closed.

Paula Cousins, Deputy Director of the Southern Interior Region with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, said a bypass at Callan Road is now in operation.

The bypass was opened to vehicle traffic on Monday at 5 a.m. and is open to light vehicles and commercial trucks, but pedestrians and cyclists are not permitted.

The speed limit on the bypass is 30 kilometres an hour.

Crews from Argo Road Maintenance are maintaining the bypass.

Cousins said crews are continuing to work to clear the rock slide on the highway, but at present there is no timeline for when it will be reopened.

There is still some movement on the slide, with three millimetres recorded overnight at the south side of the slide area.

“The safety for drivers and our crews remains our top priority,” Cousins said.

As crews are working on the slide area, the road will be closed periodically for up to 45 minutes to allow for blasting work. However, blasting will not occur between 7 and 9 a.m. or between 4 and 6 p.m.

The bypass required between 3,000 and 4,000 cubic metres of fill to connect Callan Road with the highway on the other side of the slide area.

A block wall has been put in place to ensure rock from the slide does not reach Callan Road.

Because this bypass is now in place, earlier detour routes have been closed.

Detours had been in place using the 201 Forest Service Road and the Trout Creek forest service road.

Cousins said these detours are no longer needed and will no longer be maintained.

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