SILVER STAR MOUNTAIN, B.C. – The ski season may be over, but winter-like conditions are causing slippery slopes on the roads around Silver Star Ski Resort.
Fewer cars on the road to ski resorts means road contractors can scale back their rounds.
After another 40 cm of snow fell at Silver Star Tuesday and Wednesday, it meant both residents and the resort were forced to make an urgent plea for help as they quickly found themselves snowbound.
“It can’t go on,” says Brad Baker, Silver Star Ski Resort Operations Director. “It’s downright dangerous.”
This week’s storm is the second storm in a week, creating large snow banks and narrower roads.
Baker says the roads don’t need to be so precarious.
“Opposing vehicles couldn’t pass,” Baker continues, describing about roads around the village. “Pedestrians walking on the road were having issues with on coming vehicles.”
Silver Star says road conditions have become questionable under the new contractor, JPW Road and Bridge Maintenance, which was awarded the service area last year by the Province of B.C.
A statement from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says the storm this week dropped more snow than expected.
“The priority was to maintain the primary access road first, and then do cleanup on the local side roads.”
But residents were trapped by snow on the road that they say came up to their knees.
“We just feel like sometimes once Silver Star shuts down, they think winter’s over,” says year-round resident Nancy Lewis. “We sort of get forgotten.”
Resident Harry Doering keeps an excavator on hand to keep his drive-way at Silver Star accessible year round, but says the contractor does a questionable job doing the same on roads around the village.
“Certainly from a safety perspective, there’s times that roadways narrow down quite a bit,” says Doering. “It’s not too good if there’s people walking on the street. There’s not room for two cars to travel.”
Silver Star says the contractor needs to adjust service levels to accommodate year-round residents, daily school bus schedules and potential emergency vehicle access.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says “staff will be reaching out to the Silver Star representatives to hear their concerns and ideas for improvement.”