Approximately 4,000 cubic metres of unstable material on the slope needs to be brought down at the slide site above Highway 97 in Summerland, said the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
“The geotechnical assessments determined there is still unstable material on the slope above the highway that needs to be safely brought down,” said the Ministry.
“Our geotechnical engineers have also recommended additional measures to strengthen the effectiveness of the retaining wall, so we now anticipate construction will continue for at least an additional week.”
In the meantime, geotechnical engineers are working on a plan to bring the unstable slope material down once the retaining wall is completed.
The ministry then plans to relocate the lock blocks to the shoulder and open the additional lanes.
A second slide located 200 metres north of the original slide occurred Monday night, June 5 at 1 a.m. Geotechnical engineers assessed the site and determined it was safe to reopen to single-lane traffic late that day.
But in the morning when the highway was closed to all traffic both ways. semis were using the rural detour route through town instead of the alternative route heavy commercial vehicles were supposed to use through via Highways 3A, 3, 5A and 97C.
“When the Ministry became aware of commercial traffic utilizing the local detour during the closure, the traffic controllers were directed to hold heavy commercial vehicles on the highway to ensure the safety of all travellers,” said the Ministry.
Last month’s geotechnical assessments recommended construction of a large lock-block retaining wall at the original slide site to increase the debris-catchment area and increase safety prior to re-opening additional lanes.
Drivers should expect delays and watch for traffic control. Updates will be available at www.DriveBC.ca.
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