Rock Slide still a nuisance as work week begins

It was bad enough on a weekend, but now there’s news the work week will start with Hwy. 97 still closed just north of Summerland.

DriveBC is reporting a 1.6-km stretch of Hwy. 97 between Callan Rd and N Beach Rd north of Summerland remains closed due to a series of rock slides.

A first rock slide occurred Thursday evening, when about 400 cubic metres of large rock and debris came down, partially blocking the road.

Two more slides occurred early Saturday morning, the largest of the two blocking all four lanes and completely closing the highway.

“Rock scalers continue to work the slope,” DriveBC notes this morning.

For Osoyoos residents, two routes are available to Kelowna, the shortest being travel on Hwy. 3 to Rock Creek and north on Hwy. 33, a distance of about 186 km or just over two hours.

Travel between Penticton and Kelowna — normally about an hour’s drive — is a little more difficult.

Motorists are now required to drive through Keremeos and Princeton and north to Aspen Grove before turning east on Hwy. 97C.

That route is about 276 km.

DriveBC is also suggesting another more rugged route for vehicles capable of overland travel: Forest Service Road 201 — which is accessed east of Naramata of via Carmi Ave in Penticton — to Hwy 33 and McCulloch Rd near Big White

The route has a maximum weight limit of five tonnes.

A status update for Hwy. 97 is scheduled for noon today.

Until then, if you can delay travel to Kelowna, you’re best advised to stay home.

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