Ministry deems highway safe after two rockslides in two weeks near Salmon Arm

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VERNON - A pair of rockslides on the Trans-Canada Highway near Salmon Arm, one of which resulted in a semi crash, were reviewed by government engineers.

On Nov. 4, a rock slide near Kault Hill on Highway 1 just west of Salmon Arm left boulders strewn around a pullout. No one was hurt, but the pullout was closed off.

Then, on Nov. 19, a semi truck had to swerve to avoid boulders from another rockslide in the same area, and was struck by an oncoming vehicle.

According to a written statement from the Ministry of Transportation, geotechnical engineers reviewed both sites and determined it is safe to keep the highway open.

“At this time, the area is stabilized and there are no immediate plans to do further rock fall mitigation to these slopes,” the ministry says.

The ministry is reminding drivers that rockfall can be more common this time of year. 

“Due to the amount of rain as well as the alternating freezing and thawing that occurs at this time of year, rock fall can occur more frequently throughout the provincial highway network and we encourage drivers to be aware when driving on highways and road near rock slopes,” states the ministry.

A spokesperson says ministry staff will continue to regularly monitor the section of highway.

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