Slide closes highway, again

A rock slide closed Highway 3 in late mid-November.

Despite extensive work this past spring and summer, heavy rains helped bring down large rocks on Highway 3 Monday evening.

The slide happened about 4:20 p.m. Monday evening. All three lanes were closed for about four hours. One lane was reopened at about 8 p.m. The ministry stated if conditions changed that lane would be closed overnight.

About five cubic metres of rock debris fell in the west lane.

Ministry crews were on site Monday night. A geotechnical assessment was expected to be completed first thing Tuesday morning.

A ministry spokesperson told the Review the entire roadway could not be reopened before the geotechnical assessment.

“Road will be closed until geo tech assessment is complete to ensure it will be safe for travel,” the spokesperson stated in an email Monday evening.

Before it reopened, traffic was re-routed meaning many motorists determined on making their destinations were forced to back track a significant distance.

East travelling traffic was detoured into Princeton to Highway 5A and traffic at Osoyoos and Penticton/Kaleden Junction will be detoured via Highway 97/97C.

The news of the slide travelled quickly through news social media sites with many locals voicing frustration.

“Well good thing we are not going anywhere. They have been going to fix that for months here we go again,” a commenter on the Review Facebook page stated.

At least three significant slides have taken place in the last two years on that stretch of highway about nine kilometres west of Keremeos

The Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure completed the second phase of a two-phase project to reduce the impact of slides just last month.

In the last year the ministry has removed about 35,000 cubic metres of rock debris and dug a ditch more than a half-kilometre long to create a large catchment area.

Phase one of the project saw the construction of a three-metre high concrete block wall in the west slow lane to increase rock catchment.

Prior to this slide the last major slide occurred in early December 2014 when rocks came tumbling down. The slide occurred about 3:40 p.m. meaning some children were stranded in Keremeos and not able to return home from school.

The community and the school pitched in and found places for the students to stay. The highway was closed overnight and not reopened until about noon the next day.

Previous to that slide, a major slide occurred in January 2014 bringing down boulders the size of pickup trucks that came crashing down onto the roadway hitting several vehicles and hospitalizing one person.

Just Posted

Funding changes mean closure for Success By 6

B.C. making major changes to early childhood development funding

Back to work for Penticton businesses impacted by bomb threats

Multiple car dealerships were evacuated as the result of an international e-mail hoax

Two men arrested in Lower Similkameen on outstanding warrants

RCMP had a busy Sunday making three big arrests related to the Keremeos area

Okanagan College unlocks time capsule

Items placed in 1993 and kept in capsule in library opened at special ceremony

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Avalanche control scheduled tomorrow on Highway 1 east of Revelstoke

Avalanche control work is scheduled along Highway 1 on Dec 15. From… Continue reading

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Final phase of Kelowna hospital cardiac centre completed

Finishing new recovery rooms last stage of $381 million project

Most Read