Highway 97 rock slides have occurred in the past

Serious events in 2008 and 2014 affected Highway 97 north of Summerland

The rock slide along Highway 97 north of Summerland is not the first time the highway has been closed in that area.

In the late fall of 2008, the highway was closed when a large fissure on the rock slope above the highway was discovered.

This closure lasted 19 days, from Oct. 24 to Nov. 12.

Around 34,000 cubic metres of rock and unstable material was blasted and removed from the site to secure the slope and make it safe for traffic to resume.

The fissure was discovered during a road widening project between Bentley Road in Summerland and Okanagan Lake Park.

This expansion was completed in September, 2010 and created a 35-kilometre stretch of four-lane highway from Penticton to Greata Ranch south of Peachland.

There has also been one other rock slide in this area, in 2014.

Measures were taken to prevent or limit rock fall and to reinstate the slope mesh that was damaged.

Officials with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure say the conditions and geology along this highway are not unique.

“Rock slides of this volume do not occur often,,” a ministry representative said. “The rock slide at this site failed along a natural joint plane deep in the rock slope, and was likely triggered by freeze/thaw conditions.”

The ministry spends $3.5 million each year on rock fall mitigation to reduce potential hazards.

This work begins each spring and involves rock scaling, slope meshing and rock blasting.

“Although rock fall mesh and fencing are utilized as a means of minimizing the impact of rock fall on our highways where possible, they would not eliminate larger events like the one on Highway 97,” a ministry representative said. “Our geotechnical assessment has indicated that in its current condition, the slope will require blasting and scaling to reach more solid rock. This will provide more stability for the slope, and allow ministry staff to remove all loose and unstable rock and eventually reopen the route. The site will also be assessed for further needs as the slope is exposed during the debris excavation process.”

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rose Valley Rd. fire in West Kelowna has now been extinguished

West Kelowna Fire Chief says first two grass fires Tuesday were human caused

Two vehicle incident at Leckie and Baron

UPDATE: 5:56 p.m. RCMP is on the scene at a two-vehicle crash… Continue reading

Grounded: Kelowna Falcons early season struggles continue

The Falcons move to 2-8 after another loss Monday night

Collision on Harvey Avenue and Dillworth Drive

The road should be cleared up momentarily

UBC Okanagan soccer season gets early start

Both men’s and women’s Heat squad gear up for early start to new season

Murray McLauchlan delights Okanagan crowd

Canadian music icon puts on wonderful two-hour show at Performing Arts Centre

Life’s work of talented Shuswap sculptor leads to leukemia

Former Salmon Arm resident warns of dangers of chemical contact

Shuswap car dealership seeks return of unique stolen Jeep

The red 1989 four-by-four was taken from Salmon Arm GM’s lot early Monday morning.

College investigates Okanagan physiotherapist

Stephen Witvoet’s matters are currently before the courts

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

MPs hear retired South Okanagan nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Public weighs in Okanagan rail trail parking development

“It was a great evening to interact with the community and hear the input for the property”

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Most Read