NEWS

Coquihalla Highway snowplowing raises concerns

01/27/2012 10:05 EST | Updated 03/28/2012 05:12 EDT

B.C.'s Coquihalla Highway has been reopened after it was closed in both directions for avalanche control for several hours on Friday morning, but questions remain about snowplowing on the route.

The company in charge of clearing the snow from the mountain highway is defending itself against criticism it's not doing a good enough job. Spokesman Bob Gilowski says crews are finding it tough to keep up with heavy snowfalls.

"We have received over a metre of snow with consecutive storms, basically snowing every single day, and it's become a bit of a challenge with our crews to keep that snow off the road without a day's break or two day's break between storms, to really get it pushed back off the shoulder edges and really get in there to clean up," said Gilowski.

But New Democratic MLA Harry Lali says he's been travelling the route maintained by VSA Highway Maintenance in recent weeks and doesn't feel safe. He says the company has not done a good enough job of ensuring the road is passable this winter.

"There's a lot of preemptive stuff that contractors can do and in my opinion VSA has not performing up to the standards that are laid out in the agreement and they need to pull up their socks. And if not then the government basically needs to pull the contract and give it to somebody else who can do a better job," said Lali on Monday morning.

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