West Kelowna  

Drivers fuming after snow turns Hwy 97 into an ice rink Monday

Fuming over messy roads

Madison Erhardt

Westside motorists found themselves in a slog of a Monday morning commute.

The drive down Bridge Hill from West Kelowna was compared to an ice rink by many motorists — stationary cars slid sideways, forcing traffic to a crawl. Delays to cross the bridge were well over an hour.

A short distance down Highway 97, multiple semi-trucks spun out on the highway on the hill near Gorman's Mill.

It took about 10 centimetres of snow Monday morning to bring the primary road corridor through West Kelowna to a halt, something that has drivers fuming.

Jay Bergan says he was trying to drive south through West Kelowna when he was stopped by an accident.

“It is continual. It is every winter. It is all the time... When you call the dispatch centre to say ‘hey can we get some attention’ [they say] ‘we were caught off the guard’ No you weren’t. It was forecast for three days. I wasn’t caught off guard. I knew I was going to have to put chains on to get up the hill this morning,” Bergan said.

“Traffic is just snarled all the way through West Kelowna. Nothing moves southbound for about an hour. ”

Westside Road was closed between Bear Creek and Traders Cove for much of the morning as well.

“There wasn’t a single plow on Westside Road at all if you got out of the tracks your vehicle got sucked in. It was not fun,” said driver Mark Kay.

Castanet reached out to AIM Roads, the region's roads contractor, for an explanation about Monday morning. AIM declined to comment and directed us to speak with the Ministry of Transportation.

The Ministry of Transportation then failed to meet our deadline for comment. This story will be updated when they provide comment.

Environment Canada, meanwhile, says more snow is on the way Tuesday and Wednesday.

“It does look like it could bring another 5 to 10 centimetres into the Okanagan,” said meteorologist Geoff Coulson.

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