UPDATED: 5:30 p.m.
An alternate route between Penticton and Kelowna is available for light vehicles weighing five tonnes or less using the 201 Forest Service Road.
In a statement Sunday evening, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said the highway is anticipated to be closed for an extended period of time due to continued instability at the site. Ministry staff are working to have Highway 97 reopened to traffic as soon as it is safe to do so.
The alternate route is accessed off Highway 33 near McCollough Road near Kelowna, and via Warren Avenue/Carmi Avenue in Penticton.
Drivers using this route can expect up to 90 minutes of additional travel time compared to normal travel time between Summerland and Peachland on Highway 97. Travel using other alternate unmaintained routes is not recommended and is being discouraged for safety reasons.
Heavier vehicles and commercial trucks are required to detour via Highway 97C, Highway 5A and Highway 3A to Highway 3.
Drivers are reminded to slow down and drive with caution when using the two-lane 201 Forest Service Road, and to check DriveBC.ca and @DriveBC on Twitter for updates on the Highway 97 closure.
Road maintenance vehicles will be actively working on this route to ensure safe road conditions.
The ministry understands the inconvenience to drivers, and appreciates peoples’ patience as crews work to ensure the road is safe for reopening as soon as possible.
UPDATED: 1:17 p.m.
Dan Ashton, MLA for Penticton, reports that the rock scaling is continuing at the rock slide on Highway 97 north of Summerland, but the road will not reopen for some time.
“Under a best case scenario the closure will remain In effect until at least some point this evening at the earliest,” he said. “It is also possible the closure could extend into tomorrow or early next week.”
Highway 97 between Summerland and Peachland remains closed.
The rock slide occurred around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday between Callan Road and North Beach Road for 1.6 kilometres.
The highway remains closed two kilometres north of Summerland.
Rockscalers are continuing to work the slope after working overnight, however there is no estimated time of opening available.
Alternate routes are available, according to the Drive BC drivers are able to take a detour via Highway 97-C, Highway 5A and Highway 3A to Highway 3.
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