Highway 97 isn't the only slide impacting Kelowna | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Highway 97 isn't the only slide impacting Kelowna

The red lines on this photo illustrate cracks that could cause this slope to slide into Bellevue Creek in Kelowna.
Image Credit: From City of Kelowna Agenda
February 08, 2019 - 5:00 PM

KELOWNA - While Highway 97 between Summerland and Peachland remains closed to traffic because of a major slide, slippage in other areas of the Central Okanagan are also causing concerns.

High groundwater levels are being blamed for a small slide and cracks in Canyon Falls Park in Kelowna that has the potential to delay construction of the South Perimeter Road and a bridge across Bellevue Creek.

“It’s not close to where the bridge is going to be,” Alan Newcombe, Divisional Director of Infrastructure for the City of Kelowna, told iNFOnews.ca. “What could happen here, if there was a lot of slippage on the banks along Bellevue Creek, it could extend back toward the future South Perimeter Road.”

The area of concern is downstream from Crawford Falls and some distance away from the site of the proposed bridge. But the road connecting to the bridge, on the east side of the creek, could be affected.

That $10.8 million road and bridge project was supposed to go ahead this year but first, Newcombe wants to do a $125,000 geotechnical study of the slide area.

“The South Perimeter Road and the bridge would get constructed at the same point in time so we would like to see the full investigation done before that work is started,” he said.

He will ask City Council on Monday to shift some funding around and approve the study. He expects that work will take two or three months to complete. Then, there may have to be work done on the slope to make sure it’s safe. His report to council says that could cost $1 million or more.

The hillside was first noticed to be slipping last spring so the trail in the park was closed and it remains closed.

Last fall, new cracks were detected further up the slope.

“It looked like it could potentially be a much larger land movement than we had anticipated so that’s what spurred this on now,” Newcombe said. “The risk is that, this spring, as the groundwater table comes back up as we get the snow melt, that’s when we would see a more substantial movement.”

This is not the only slide of concern in the Central Okanagan.

A slide in Glen Canyon Regional Park in West Kelowna reached at least one private property last fall and is still being studied.

Earlier last year there was a slide on Knox Mountain in the North End of downtown Kelowna that’s still being monitored. There are also concerns about slopes in the Black Mountain area and other steep slopes in the city.

Engineer Don Dobson recently pointed out that groundwater in various places in the Central and South Okanagan is at record high levels and creeks are flowing at higher levels than normal for this time of year.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2019

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