Crews continue to work on the construction of the Callan Road detour after a series of rockslides shut down Highway 97 in both directions north of Summerland on Feb 2.
The detour will provide a quicker option for commuters to get between Penticton and Kelowna. Officials have said it is expected to open to the travelling public early this week, but a specific time has not been provided.
Currently, drivers are forced to take lengthy forest service road alternate routes, one of which has been reported to be in poor condition.
Drivers have taken to social media to express concern about the condition of the Trout Creek Forest Service Road between Peachland and Summerland on the west side of Okanagan Lake.
This map provided by the Ministry of Transportation shows the detour routes available to drivers as Highway 97 remains closed in both directions north of Summerland, B.C.
“Of the feedback I have been receiving from citizens who have used the 201 and newly opened Trout Creek FSR alternative routes the majority prefer the 201,” wrote Penticton MLA Dan Ashton posted on Facebook.
The Ministry of Transportation’s Okanagan Shuswap Twitter account urges drivers to take caution, as there are “narrow bridges and narrow roadways.”
On Friday, the province said the additional route has been graded and sanded, and signage is in place.
“The speed limit is 50 km/hour and drivers using this route should have good winter tires, obey the speed limit and drive with caution,” it said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Callan Road bypass will provide a two-lane detour around the slide zone between Summerland and Peachland. Officials said work continues to build a two-lane connection from Callan Road up to Highway 97 on the south side of the slide.
The quicker detour will accommodate commercial vehicles. Trucking companies have expressed frustration with the lengthy highway detours that add approximately five hours to a round-trip journey from Penticton to Kelowna.
On Friday, the Ministry of Transportation said significant slope movement continues at the site and Highway 97 remains closed with no estimated time for reopening.
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