Ski resort official glad to see to see Coquihalla safety improvements

Kelowna - Michael Ballingall said it has been needed for a long time

A Big White Ski Resort official is happy the Coquihalla is getting safety upgrades.

At the beginning of April, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced it would be undertaking several improvements to make highways safer across B.C.

“We’re incredibly encouraged. This has needed to be done for a long time,” said Michael Ballingall, senior vice-president of sales and marketing at Big White Ski Resort.

These measures include stricter vehicle chain up requirements and fines, investing $1.8 million over the next three years for additional weather stations and road condition signs, enhanced road-maintenance contractor monitoring and auditing and extending winter tire and chain regulations on select highways.

Ballinghall said regular road closures have impacted the resort’s clientele. Enforcing the law has also been an issue, he said.

“Now that we’re making the 18 wheelers chain up, we’re going to make them abide by the law. This will make it a much easier highway to plow, to travel on. The most important thing in our world is to give travellers the confidence that the road is safe, and that’s the problem we’re experiencing now.”

“For us, it’s been the biggest problem of the year…Vancouver/Lower Mainland is our biggest market, and we’ve heard more caution, complaints, uncomfortable potential customers that said they’re not coming because of the conditions of the road and there’s been more cancellations this year because the family couldn’t get through,” said Ballinghall.

According to the ministry, this winter season saw 830 centimetres of total snowfall at the Coquihalla summit – 114 per cent higher than the 10-year average. While the Kootenay Pass had the highest-ever recorded snowfall of 1,012 centimetres from Oct. 1, 2017, to the end of February 2018 – 148 per cent higher than the 10-year average.

It’s too late in the season to see how the highway changes will affect Big White, but “we’ll see what happens next year,” said Ballinghall.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Talks continue on structure of regional fire departments

Okanagan-Similkameen directors heard under the current structure the CAO’s title would need to change

PRICK! sees increase in patients

The rainbow friendly service offers STI and HIV screening monthly

First Things First evoking the power of song and play

Environmental group educating through entertainment

Robbie Burns supper celebrates 260th birthday of the Ploughman Poet

Penticton Scottish Festival Society hosts annual celebration

Penticton Vees win in 10-round shootout in Merritt

The win is the Vees’ sixth win and third shootout in a row.

Video: 100 days until the David E. Kampe Tower opens

Penticton Regional Hospital started the 100-day countdown until the new tower opens to the public

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

Man charged in 7-Eleven fire in Shuswap granted bail

Accused facing arson charges released with 23 conditions including a 7 p.m. curfew

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Most Read