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Previous slides have occurred north of Summerland

Highway was closed off in 2008, 2014 and 2019

A rock slide on Highway 97 north of Summerland in late August is not the first time this portion of the road has been closed.

In October 2008, the highway was closed in both directions when a fault was discovered in a rock face. The crack was widening at a rate of 10 to 15 millimetres a day.

At the time, crews were working to expand the portion of the highway from two lanes to four lanes.

READ ALSO: Highway crews work to stabilize rock face

READ ALSO: Highway 97 rock slides have occurred in the past

Detours were set up, with motorists going through Osoyoos and Rock Creek or through Princeton to get from Summerland and Penticton to Kelowna.

In addition, the province set up a water taxi and shuttle service to transport people past the fault line. Two 75-passenger water taxis provided hourly sailings to move passengers past the fault line.

The 2008 closure lasted for 19 days, from Oct. 24 to Nov. 12.

Another rock slide occurred in the same area less than six years later, on July 7, 2014.

Two people were taken to hospital with minor injuries following this slide.

Around 34,000 cubic metres of rock and unstable material were blasted and removed from the site at the time.

In January 2019, a rock slide near Callan Road north of Summerland resulted in a road closure lasting more than a month.

More than 20,000 cubic metres of rock and debris were removed from the site.

Once again, lengthy detours were in place, with motorists travelling through Princeton to get from Summerland and Penticton to Kelowna and the Central Okanagan.

As the road closure continued, shorter detours were eventually put in place. The shorter bypass was later decommissioned after the road repairs had been completed.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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