Highway 97 between Summerland and Peachland won’t be opening any time soon

The rock slide on Highway 97 north of Summerland is pictured in this photo from Twitter on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019.
Image Credit: TWITTER/@TranBC_OKS

SUMMERLAND - Continued instability of the slope above Highway 97 north of Summerland means the road is expected to be closed “for an extended period of time,” states the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

A rock slide around two kilometres north of Summerland partially closed the road last week before it was fully closed on the weekend.

Drivers are being encouraged to use Forest Service Road 201 as an alternative rather than trying to negotiate back roads around the slide. Two vehicles and drivers have already been rescued on those backroads.

“People are obviously frustrated and, despite the warnings from police officials, they think they have a solution, and try a route that is not intended for year round use,” Ron Muir, Penticton Search and Rescue Manager, said in a press release. “What we find is that drivers are not equipped to deal with an emergency if they become stranded, thus putting themselves and rescue crews at risk.”

The 201 Forest Service Road is being maintained during the Highway 97 closure.

It’s recommended for use by light vehicles, defined as five tons or less. It can be reached from the north off Highway 33 near McCollough Road and from the south via Warren Avenue/Carmi Avenue in Penticton.

It will take about 90 minutes longer to travel between Penticton and Kelowna.

Larger vehicles and commercial trucks have to detour through Princeton.

Drivers can check DriveBC.ca and @DriveBC on Twitter for updates on the Highway 97 closure.


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