Rock slide closes Highway 99 for at least five days in British Columbia

| Thursday, July 31, 2008

Highway officials in British Columbia say it could take five days to clean up a massive rock slide that shut down Highway 99 near Vancouver late Tuesday night, July 29.

The detour around the slide is forcing drivers to take an eight-hour route if they’re trying to travel between Vancouver and Whistler, which are about 50 miles apart.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported all lanes are blocked on the highway, which is also called the “Sea to Sky Highway” and is part of the route that people will use to reach the 2010 winter Olympic Games. A nearby railroad track is also covered with rocks and debris.

No injuries have been reported, but the boulders from the roadside cliff face are described as being more than 10 meters deep on the roadway and stretching for more than 100 meters along Highway 99. Officials have estimated there are 16,000 cubic meters of rock on the highway, which is the only direct route between Whistler and Vancouver.

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