UPDATED: Waneta highway and Seven Mile Highway temporarily closed due to slide

Highway 22A to U.S. border should be cleared Friday noon

An overnight rock slide has closed the Seven Mile Highway to the Pend d'Oreille

An overnight rock slide has closed the Seven Mile Highway to the Pend d'Oreille

Highway 22 A to the Waneta border crossing is open with single lane alternating traffic.

See original story below

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A large rock slide has forced the closure of the Seven Mile Highway and Highway 22 A Friday morning.

Emcon officials had stopped traffic to the Pend d’Oreille as well as to the Waneta border crossing while crews removed large boulders.

Highway 22A to the border was expected to be re-opened before noon on Friday.

The length of the closure of the Seven Mile Highway to the Pend d’Oreille was unknown while officials review the state of the highway and clear the debris.

Heavy rains in the region may have contributed to the slide.

The issue of safety was brought to light earlier this year by a Pend d’Oreille resident who told the Trail Times that when rock slides occur on the Seven Mile Highway, the alternate Old Waneta-Nelway Road is closed due to the expansion at the Waneta Dam.

Audrey Repin, the director of stakeholder and external relations for the Columbia Power Corporation, contacted the Trail Times Friday morning and explained the Waneta Expansion Project contractor is “obligated” to re-open the Old Waneta-Nelway Road in the event of a closure to the Seven Mile Highway.

However, before the road can be open it must be approved by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.