Rock fall closes Highway 97, alternate route now in place

SUMMERLAND - Drivers are advised that Highway 97 remains closed to traffic in both directions due to a significant rock fall near Callan Road north of Summerland.

The highway is anticipated to be closed for an extended period of time due to continued instability at the site. Ministry staff are working to have Highway 97 reopened to traffic as soon as it is safe to do so.

In the meantime, an alternate route between Penticton and Kelowna is available for light vehicles (five tons or less), using the 201 Forest Service Road. This is accessed off Highway 33 near McCollough Road near Kelowna, and via Warren Avenue/Carmi Avenue in Penticton.

Drivers using this route can expect up to 90 minutes of additional travel time compared to normal travel time between Summerland and Peachland on Highway 97. Travel using other alternate unmaintained routes is not recommended and is being discouraged for safety reasons.

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

Drivers are reminded to slow down and drive with caution when using the two-lane 201 Forest Service Road, and to check DriveBC.ca and @DriveBC on Twitter for updates on the Highway 97 closure.

Road maintenance vehicles will be actively working on this route to ensure safe road conditions.

The ministry understands the inconvenience to drivers, and appreciates peoples' patience as crews work to ensure the road is safe for reopening as soon as possible.