Dawn Tucker took this photo of what the original size of the hole looked like when discovered early Tuesday evening.(photo submitted)

Work on highway sinkhole continues

Sinkhole still causing delays in Vernon

UPDATE: Work continues on a main transportation artery in Vernon.

The sinkhole on Highway 97, next to Polson Park, is still being addressed.

Two lanes are open northbound and one lane is open southbound while crews and equipment are on site.

Motorists may face delays as bottlenecks form on the major thoroughfare.

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Ministry of Transportation officials were hopeful that Highway 97, at the bottom of Hospital Hill in Vernon, would be back to regular traffic flows late Thursday afternoon.

The highway was closed early Tuesday evening after a sinkhole measuring three feet in diameter was discovered in the northbound lanes.

Traffic was rerouted around the area before the highway reopened overnight Wednesday to single-lane traffic in both directions, and officials hoped all four lanes would be operational Thursday after repairs and cleanup had been finished.

“We’ve cleared the gravel and put everything in,” said Jack Bennetto, Okanagan-Shuswap district manager for the Ministry of Transportation. “We’ve put the different materials in, layered like a cake.”

The cause of the hole, said Bennetto, was flood-related.

“We checked the culvert, which is an older culvert joined to a newer culvert, and with all the water going through at high speed over the last several weeks, and the volume, it eroded something,” said Bennetto. “We had underwater cameras in there to check but the water was too murky.”

Motorists were being advised to check with DriveBC for the latest updates.