LANE CLOSURE The southbound right lane of Highway 97 north of Summerland has been closed for several months, but the area has not had recent rock slide activity. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

DriveBC mistakenly posts road closure north of Summerland

Area two kilometres north of Summerland was site of earlier slide, but not during past week

Because of what has been described as an error in wording, DriveBC posted a notice about a rock slide on Highway 97 north of Summerland earlier this week, even though no slide had occurred.

The notice, posted on June 3, stated that a rock slide had occurred two kilometres north of Summerland and that the right southbound lane was closed.

While the right southbound lane has been closed since early spring, there was no new rock slide, a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure representative said.

The DriveBC posting has since been changed to remove references to a rock slide.

READ ALSO: Highway 97 north of Summerland finally reopened

READ ALSO: Highway 97 rock slides have occurred in the past

However, the highway has been the site of an earlier rock slide, resulting in an extended road closure.

The slide occurred on the evening of Jan. 31, between Callan Road and North Beach Road and as a result, the road was closed in both directions.

Highway crews were on the site to stabilize the site and clear the debris at the site.

The highway was finally opened in early March.

When the highway was opened, the southbound right lane was closed.

This lane remains closed as ministry staff continue to monitor the slope.

Ministry representatives say plans are in place to open the southbound right lane and return the highway to full capacity, but an expected date for this reopening is not yet known.

Earlier rock slides have also resulted in road closures on Highway 97 north of Summerland.

In late fall of 2008, the highway was closed when a large fissure on the rock slope above the highway was discovered.

In 2014, another rock slide north of Summerland also resulted in a road closure.

“Rock slides of this volume do not occur often,” a ministry representative said. “The rock slide at this site failed along a natural joint plane deep in the rock slope, and was likely triggered by freeze/thaw conditions.”

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