The collapsed bluff that has Highway 97 down to one lane in Summerland may not be finished making a mess just yet.

There was enough debris to close all four lanes of the highway when the landslide happened at 7 p.m. on May 15 near Lakeshore Drive South, according to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

No vehicles were impacted by the slide which was spanned approximately 120 meters, and a 40-meter section was covering the highway.

The road reopened to single-lane alternating traffic by 1 a.m. on May 16.

During the afternoon of May 17, some movement was observed and a “small amount of additional material released from the slope” so the highway was closed for about 90 minutes, the spokesperson said.

And it may not be completely settled yet. 

“There is a significant amount of unstable material remaining on the slope above the highway which would be enough to reach the travel lanes if it were to release.”

To increase safety and the debris-catchment area, the construction of a lock-block retaining wall was been recommended after the geotechnical assessments.

“The wall is currently being designed and construction is anticipated to begin on Tuesday (May 23).”

The spokesperson said this stretch of Highway 97 doesn’t have an extensive history of slides, albeit “a very small slide” happened a couple of weeks ago and traffic was not impacted.

“In the meantime, ministry continues to monitor the slope and the highway will be closed if further movement is detected before the retaining wall can be installed.”

The ministry has not set a timeline for when all four lanes will reopen.

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