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

Thrash Wrestling “mans up” for the Testicular Fortitude show

Silas “The Last Real Man” Young enters the ring on April 27

Update: Highway 3 reopened following rockslide near Keremeos

The slide occurred Friday March 22, at about 8 p.m. between Red Bridge and Standing Rock

Rock slide forces rural Keremeos residents to leave their homes

Witness describes boulders bigger than her car

BREAKING: Highway 3 near Keremeos closed due to rockslide

Highway 3 just west of Keremeos is closed as of 8:44 p.m.… Continue reading

UPDATE: Destructive blaze in West Kelowna

A unit of a condo complex is on fire in West Kelowna

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

Four people displaced by Taylor Road fire

The Kelowna Fire Department say no one wass injured and the cause of the fire is not suspicious

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Okanagan woman launches sewing studio

“I know there’s a lot of people up and down the valley that would love to sew.”

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Former Okanagan teen found safe after disappearing from YVR airport

Ethan Burnett, 14, was found safe in Kelowna on March 22

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Most Read