Rock slide could block BC highway for five days 07/31/2008 09:01
Rock slide could block BC highway for five days

It could be five days before the Sea to Sky Highway near Vancouver is reopened following a massive rock slide on Tuesday night. Highway 99 is the only direct route between Vancouver and Whistler, the intended venue for many of the 2010 Olympic events.

The slide occurred at just before midnight on Tuesday when the face of a large cliff broke loose, sending at least 16,000 cubic metres of debris onto the section of road near Porteau Cove.

All lanes of traffic and a rail line were blocked with truck-sized boulders, which B.C.'s Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon said likely won't be fully cleared until next week.

By Thursday, officials were preparing the site for blasting to begin clearing the roadway to allow traffic to once again use the vital artery. Stabilization and bolting must also be completed before the roadway is reopened.

In the meantime, motorists' only other option is to take an eight-hour detour between the two cities.