Traffic detoured through Summerland as a landslide closed off Highway 97 near Lakeshore Drive on June 6.
The slide was just north of an earlier slide that had occurred in early May.
When the road was closed, DriveBC advised detours using Highway 97C, Highway 5A and Highway 3 to bypass the community.
This detour adds several hours of travel time between Penticton and Summerland.
During the slides on Highway 97, many motorists used streets in Summerland to detour the slide area. This resulted in a much shorter slowdown.
While the detour through town was considerably shorter than the DriveBC route, the extra volume of traffic in the community was noticeable, said Graham Statt, chief administrative officer for Summerland.
In addition, the route through Summerland, using Johnson Street, Fir Avenue, Gartrell Road and Giants Head Road, involves winding sections and is not suitable for large truck and trailer units.
“The detour does not do well to accommodate these large trucks,” he said.
Residents of Giants Head Road have been affected by the additional traffic during recent slides. In addition, residents of this road have also had previous traffic issues when upgrade work was done in this area.
“I have to applaud the patience of the residents of Giants Head Road,” Statt said. “They have demonstrated the patience of a saint.”
At present Highway 97 in Summerland is open to single-lane alternating traffic.
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