Highway 97 rock slide north of Summerland beginning to stabilize

Costs of road work so far estimated at between $300,000 and $350,000

A blast goes off above Highway 97 to remove unstable rock where a slide occurred last week. MoTi photo

A blast goes off above Highway 97 to remove unstable rock where a slide occurred last week. MoTi photo

The rock slide on Highway 97 north of Summerland is beginning to stabilize, but the road is still blocked at the site with no estimated time when it will reopen.

“We’re excited to see signs of stibilizing at the site,” said Mike Lorimer, Executive Director of Highway Operations for the Southern Interior Region.

Crews are continuing scaling and rock removal at the site during daylight hours.

The work includes drill holes of 2.4 metres to 3.7 metres at the site.

The Callan Road detour is in place as a bypass around the rock slide and while motorists are able to get around the slide easily, there are delays of up to 45 minutes when blasting occurs.

So far, the province has spent between $300,000 and $350,000 on the rock slide. Lorimer says this amount of money is typical for a slide of this nature.

This cost does not include the cost of the Callan Road detour. If the detour costs are included, the total estimate today is around $500,000.

The total costs will depend on the work required to clear the slide and stabilize the slope.

If nothing more than rock removal is needed, the remaining work could have a price tag of $300,000 to $400,000, but if geotechnical work is needed, the total costs could exceed $1 million.

Stabilizing the slope could include putting netting or mesh in place, adding a rock berm, building a concrete wall or putting bolts in the rock face.

“We’re doing everything possible to have the highway open to traffic as soon as possible,” Lorimer said, but added that safety is the primary concern at the site.

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