Highway 97 closed indefinitely

It will be at least Monday until the highway is open again.

Geotechnical engineers are monitoring the portion of Highway 97 which was closed Friday evening after a fissure was discovered.

Communications director with the Ministry of Transportation, Dave Crebo, says the fear of fissure is that it could cause a rock slide, which is why the highway was closed.

The fissure is located high on the mountain and is thought to be about 30 feet deep.

“The engineers are monitoring the situation and they want to keep an eye on it and assess it for the next 48 hours,” says Crebo.

He says they will look at the area again on Monday to determine what, if anything, they need to do next.

“The recommended alternate route for people who must travel between Penticton and Kelowna is to go through Highway 3 or 3A to Highway 5A up to 97. There are some forestry roads between the two areas, but those aren’t recommended, they are in pretty rough shape.”

He says the alternate route will take drivers at least an extra two hours.

There will be no further media updates until Monday.

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