After months of blasting the hillside above Highway 97 north of Summerland, the province says delays of more than 20 minutes will no longer be required.

The major route through the Okanagan was hit with a huge rockslide in August of 2023 when more than 46,000 cubic metres of material blocked the highway.

Since then, Ministry of Transportation crews have been working to remove the unstable material above the route.

“With the end of major blasting, which could only be done during daylight for safety reasons, crews are working 24-hour shifts with a focus on stabilizing the slope with rock bolting. Smaller blasts may still occur,” read a ministry news release issued today, July 4.

What that means for commuters is crews can shorten the length of the construction zone and allow four-lane traffic at the south end of the site from Callan Road to Summerland this summer.

The two-lane traffic, one in each direction, will continue in the main construction zone, the ministry said.

The ministry reminds drivers it’s still an active slide area and conditions can change quickly.

Go to DriveBC to the most up-to-date information on the construction zone and closure schedules.

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