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

Penticton rushing to prepare creeks

Local creeks maintained in advance of freshet flows

Two Okanagan cities listed in Top 20 “rattiest” list

Rats. The Okanagan has them and they’re really a problem in two cities, according to this list.

Penticton woman had 6-years of SPCA complaints: documents

Joelle Mbamy is set to go to trial on animal cruelty charges on Thursday in provincial court

South Okanagan and Similkameen kids get to fly free

The annual COPA for Kids program offers free flights for kids in Princeton and Penticton

B.C. Lions talk to Penticton kids about life choices

Three B.C. Lions were in Penticton Tuesday to talk to young people about life choices

Toronto van attack suspect faces 10 counts of first-degree murder

The suspect in the Toronto van attack that killed 10 people and injured 15 others on Monday is a 25-year-old man named Alek Minassian

Issues split Trump and Macron, handshakes and kisses aside

Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron professed a sunny, best-friends relationship

How hospitals prepare for mass-casualty incidents

Code Orange alerts explained following the Toronto van attack

Jury to deliberate after Cosby painted as predator

A jury of seven men and five women are to decide actor Bill Cosby’s fate

Memorial to victims of Toronto van attack continues to grow

The subway station where a van was used to run down pedestrians has reopened in Toronto

Small aircraft touches down on Calgary street

The twin-engine plane was apparently short on fuel forcing an emergency landing

Okanagan College students show skill

Trio clean up at provincial Skills Canada competition

B.C.’s living wage increase curbed due to MSP cuts, child care subsidy: report

Living wage varies between $16.51 in north central B.C. to $20.91 in Metro Vancouver

Most Read