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April 24, 2017

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure publishes its maintenance specifications including highway snow removal on its website under the heading Highway Maintenance Agreements here: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/transportation-infrastructure/contracting-to-transportation/highway-bridge-maintenance/highway-maintenance/agreement.

Under schedule 8 of the highway maintenance agreement, it shows Cypress Bowl Road is part of the Howe Sound service area. Under the section Value of Agreements, it shows the Howe Sound service area contract was awarded to Mainroad Howe Sound Contracting LP. The contract began October 26, 2003 and ends October 31, 2018. The contract value is $9,123,338.

Schedule 21, chapter 3, Winter Maintenance discusses highway snow removal. That document is here: Highway Snow Removal

This does not jibe with what we know about Cypress Bowl Road snow removal. It is in fact done by Cypress Resort with a subsidy by the Province.

I called MoTI and spoke with an acting supervisor Maziar Kazemi at 604 989-5786. He was aware of the issue as there was a previous recent inquiry. Mr Kazemi stated summer maintenance is by Mainroad Howe Sound Contracting LP. Winter snow removal is by Cypress Resort. I explained the situation of the road closure in winter between 10 PM and 7 AM. We discussed the kiosk, whether it is legal or not. Mr Kazemi thinks it is manned all evening. I asked about the paradox of Hollyburn cabin residents and Cypress employees transiting the road during the closure. He is aware of the paradox and suspects it is "grandfathered" without really explaining what that means. I explained I am looking for the legal documents to support the closure or whether there is just a gentlemen's agreement. He is going to look for those documents and get back to me within one week. His acting assignment is ending tomorrow so the area manager Jesse Morwood is the next point of contact.

Looking into the winter maintenance agreement:

  • there does not seem to be anything authorizing blanket road closures
  • closures seem to be indicated only during bad weather or poor road conditions
  • Cypress Resorts seems to be required to provide traffic advisories when road conditions become unsafe

E.g.

The Contractor must:

a) prepare and deliver an updated Highway condition report to the Province at 5:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. daily from October 1 to April 30
b) prepare and deliver the updated Highway condition report to the Province at 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. daily from May 1 to September 30
c) report immediately to the Province any adverse or extreme road surface conditions and changes in weather conditions affecting visibility and/or driving conditions or as specified by the Province
d) prepare and release immediately, upon approval by the Province, travel advisories as necessary to inform Highway Users of conditions identifie

d in 3.1.c) above;

 

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