Chamber pres concerned over economic impact of extended Highway 97 closure

Chamber pres concerned over economic impact of extended Highway 97 closure

Penticton chamber president wants to bring the topic of alternate route to the board

The Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce president said the rock slide closing Highway 97, north of Summerland, may prompt the board to push for alternative routes through the area.

Cary Schneiderat said he suspects there have been adverse effects to South Okanagan businesses, but it has not been reported to the chamber directly.

Related: Highway 97 near Summerland still closed, alternate route highlighted

“The longer the closure, the greater the risk to all communities in the south that rely on that important transportation corridor. Not only does it affect business, but also individuals who may need to travel to Kelowna for medical appointments, etc.,” he said.

A rock slide on Thursday resulted in alternating lanes of traffic open on Highway 97. By Friday evening the highway was completely shut down following further rock slides.

Related: Driver films rock slide

Schneiderat said he wants to examine lobbying for an alternate route with the board.

“I will be raising this issue with the board to refer to our advocacy committee to determine if it would be in our members interest for us to lobby for a connection to Highway 33 to provide an alternative along the east side of the lake as an alternative route when Highway 97 is closed due to fire, rock slides, accidents or whatever,” said Schneiderat. “An accessible alternate route may also be useful to alleviate increased traffic along 97.”

Related: Penticton Search and Rescue rescues two drivers trying to bypass rockslide closure

The ministry of highways is recommending drivers of light vehicles use a gravel road, the 201 Forest Service Road, as an alternate route. The road, accessed from Carmi Avenue in Penticton and connecting to Highway 33 near McCollough Road in Kelowna, is being maintained by the Ministry, but some travellers have taken it on themselves to add some additional directional information, sharing on Facebook or even painting signs on snowbanks.

In a Facebook post that’s being widely shared, Warren Lee laid the directions out with odometers marks and photos for where turns need to be taken.

This route is estimated to add 90 minutes of additional travel time.

Heavier vehicles and commercial trucks are required to detour via Highway 97C, Highway 5A and Highway 3A to Highway 3.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man wearing a mask against coronavirus walks past an NHS advertisement about COVID-19 in London, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
92 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths: Interior Health

The region is reporting 92 cases after the weekend

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has implemented extended hours at four landfills, beginning March 1, 2020. (Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen photo)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen extends landfill hours

Summer hours at four facility take effect March 1, 2021.

An injured skier was helivaced from Apex Mountain Resort to Kelowna General Hospital Monday, March, 2021. (Linda Geggie / Facebook)
Injured skier helivaced from Apex Mountain Resort

The skier was taken to Kelowna General Hospital

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

Okanagan Falls fire department put on an ice rescue course at Yellow Lake this weekend.
South Okanagan firefighters submerged in the icy waters of Yellow Lake

The local firefighters were taking ice rescue training at the Penticton lake this weekend

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Pastafarian Gary Smith, pictured here dressed as a pirate, wanted to wear his tricorn (also pictured here) in his driver’s licence photo, arguing that the display was a religious observance. Photo: Facebook
B.C. Pastafarian loses Supreme Court fight to wear pirate hat in driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith of Grand Forks, put his case to the Supreme Court in Rossland in early February

A student from Dawson Creek is the winner of Tolko’s Orange Shirt Day design contest for 2021. (Tolko photo)
Tolko contest features northern winner

Student from Dawson Creek beats out entries Canadawide for Orange Shirt Day design contest win

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

The Vernon Public Art Gallery's new Regional Reach program which sends supplies and lessons to classes, has been a hit in the North Okanagan classrooms. (VPAG photo)
Travelling art kit a hit in North Okanagan schools

Art Gallery’s new Regional Reach program delivers art education to the classrooms

A kaleidescope of colours was captured over Lake Country Sunday, Feb. 28. (Wendey Innes-Shaw photo)
Colourful close to month with North Okanagan sunset

From all angles: Vernon and Lake Country photographers capture sunset Feb. 28

City council passed resolution in support of an expansion of the licence area at Salmon Arm’s Marionette Winery for the inclusion of a lounge area. (Marionette Winery/Facebook)
Salmon Arm council supports lounge addition at Shuswap winery

Marionette Winery expanding licence area to host small gatherings

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility’s COVID-10 outbreak has been declared over by Interior Health. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID outbreak at Vernon’s Noric House declared over

10 deaths were linked to the outbreak at long-term care facility

(File photo)
UBCO introduces another reading break in November

The break only affects the Okanagan campus

Most Read