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Highway 97 to reopen mid-July after Summerland slide

Work is continuing on the area near Highway 97

Work continues on Highway 97 in Summerland to fully reopen the road after a series of slides that occurred over the last several months.

On the evening of May 15, a slide on Highway 97 at the bottom of Summerland Hill blocked traffic. The slide covered a 40-metre section of the highway, shutting down traffic.

It was in the same area as two earlier slides, which occurred in late April.

Now the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has been conducting blasting along with having geotechnical engineers use airbags to safely remove unstable soil and materials.

“ Airbags are lowered into the tension cracks of the unstable material and then inflated so that the crack expands, and blocks of material are dislodged. This gives better control over how much material is released at a time,” stated the ministry.

The work has caused intermittent closures which will continue on this stretch of highway during off-peak hours ranging from 20-30 minutes over the next seven to 10 days to accommodate this work.

The ministry expects the project to be finished by the middle of next month with the hope to open to two-way traffic by the end of next week.

READ MORE: Blasting scheduled for Highway 97 slide area in Summerland

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Jen Zielinski

About the Author: Jen Zielinski

Graduated from the broadcast journalism program at BCIT. Also holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and sociology from Thompson Rivers University.
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