WORKING ON THE HIGHWAY Crews are working on Highway 97 north of Summerland once again, doing rock stabilization work between Bentley Road and Callan Road. The work will continue until Aug. 16 and will result in delays of up to 20 minutes. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

Highway bypass north of Summerland will not be reopened

Traffic is slowed, with delays of up to 20 minutes, as crews work at site of earlier rock slide

Traffic is slowed as crews continue working on Highway 97 north of Summerland, but a bypass at the site will not be reopened.

Crews are working on rock slope stabilization along the highway between Bentley Road and Callan Road. The work is expected to continue until Aug. 16 and will result in delays of up to 20 minutes for equipment operations and debris removal.

READ ALSO: Motorists delayed as crews work on highway

“Drivers are advised there may be occasional delays of up to 20 minutes during periods of debris removal,” a statement from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure reads. “Motorists should allow extra travel time for these potential delays and obey all construction zone signage and traffic control workers at the site.”

The work along the highway is related to an earlier closure in the same area.

At the end of January, a rock slide resulted in a road closure north of Summerland. The closure lasted more than a month.

Initially, lengthy detours were put in place, adding hours to the drive between Penticton and Kelowna.

However, a bypass was later set up at Callan Road, allowing a more direct route parallel to the closed portion of the highway.

READ ALSO: Highway 97 north of Summerland finally reopened

READ ALSO: Bypass in place around Highway 97 rock slide

When the highway was opened in early March, the bypass was closed off.

While some motorists have suggested the access be reopened, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says the bypass will remain closed.

“The ministry has allowed for up to 20 minute delays, but those will be very infrequent and they will mainly occur during scaling and mesh-hanging operations, making it impractical to open the detour route. Otherwise, there will be at least one lane operational in each direction,” a statement from the ministry reads.

“The detour could also be in an area exposed to rockfall during those scaling works, and the ministry’s top priority is ensuring the safety of travellers.”

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