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

The Disaster Before Christmas: Mission Hospice Society needs public’s help

Leaking pipes and a sewer back up leaves non-profit group with a huge bill it can’t afford to pay

Mission waterfront a priority for council

Mayor: ‘We still see our waterfront as a phenomenal opportunity for the entire community’

Silverdale planning is just beginning

Public meeting shows initial steps; next up will be examining infrastructure

Eight-foot-deep sinkhole appears in dike near Abbotsford/Mission wastewater plant

Crews hope to repair hole by February, but cost not yet known

Casino move, expansion approved by Mission council

Council votes 6-1 in favour of proposal, Chances still need final approval from the BCLC

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Canucks score 3 power-play goals in 4-2 win over Oilers

Vancouver sniper Boeser has 6 goals in last 5 games

VIDEO: Giants head into holidays with a win at home

Vancouver G-Men don’t play next until Dec. 28, after 2-1 victory over Prince George Sunday.

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

VIDEO: Giants fall to Royals 4-2 in Victoria Saturday night

Second loss in as many days for G-Men, who are back home in Langley today to take on the Cougars.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

Most Read