ROAD WORK A rock slide on Highway 97 north of Summerland resulted in a road closure that lasted more than a month. The slide occurred Jan. 31 and while the highway was reopened in early March, crews continued to work in the area until well into the summer. (Summerland Review file photo)

YEAR IN REVIEW: Slide closed Highway 97 north of Summerland

Motorists were inconvenienced by month-long closure

A rock slide on Highway 97 north of Summerland resulted in a road closure that lasted more than a month.

The rock slide occurred near Callan Road north of Summerland on Jan. 31 and after further slide movement, the highway was closed at that side on Feb. 2.

As a result, motorists had to take lengthy detours to get past the slide area.

Initially, the detour used Highways 3A, 3, 5A, 97C and 97. Later, detours were put in place using forest service roads. A much shorter Callan Road detour was opened on Feb. 11, resulting in a more direct route past the slide area.

RELATED: Shorter detour for Highway 97 commuters in the Okanagan

RELATED: Callan Rd. to have intermittent closures on Feb. 16

When the highway was finally reopened on March 5, the Callan Road detour was closed off and later decommissioned.

More than 20,000 cubic metres of rock and debris has been removed from the site. This is the equivalent of eight Olympic swimming pools.

RELATED: Bypass in place around Highway 97 rock slide

RELATED: Highway 97 rock slides have occurred in the past

Steve Sirett, district manager of the Okanagan Shuswap District with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said the total cost of the rock slide was expected to come to around $1 million.

While the highway was opened in March, crews remained at the scene much longer, with rock stabilization work continuing well into the summer.

While this is a big rock slide, it is not the biggest in the area, according to representatives of the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

The 2008 rock slide on Highway 97 north of Summerland was larger than this slide.

The 2008 slide resulted in a highway closure for 19 days, from Oct. 24 to Nov. 12 that year. Around 34,000 cubic metres of rock and unstable material was blasted and removed from the site at that time.

Another rock slide affected the area in 2014.

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