Megan Burns spent part of a snowy Thursday morning warning fellow Ford Road residents and others not to attempt to travel on the road as it had become “complete ice.”
Burns was compelled to share photos of the road on social media early Feb. 17 after multiple vehicles had slid off. She said at one point there was about 13 vehicles in ditches along the Ford Road, which connects to Highway 1 just west of Tappen’s White Post Auto Museum.
“Usually I’m not one to complain – I’m a nurse, it’s been chaotic for everybody the last two years,” said Burns. “But this morning was absolutely ridiculous. I was taking my kids to school and then right in front of me I watched people fly down, one after another, like a complete skating rink…”
“There were big one-ton trucks trying to come up the road that couldn’t make it. Moms with their kids were trying to walk up the hill and couldn’t. I grew up in the Yukon. We can drive in the snow. We have 4×4, studded tires. It was the fact it was a sheet of ice.”
Fellow neighbour and health-care worker Marie Hurley was equally concerned.
“I’ve had so many vehicles end up in ditches around my place, but this is incredible,” said Hurley, who lives where Ford branches off north onto Vella Road, an intersection she refers to as the “Tappen Triangle.”
Both Burns and Hurley were unimpressed with the local highways maintenance contractor AIM Roads, which is not only responsible for road maintenance in Electoral Area C, but also has a yard on Ford Road.
“I’ve lived here for 12 years, Marie has lived here forever as well, and it’s been a constant battle,” said Burns. “The highway is the number one priority, I completely get that, but it just kind of blows my mind that their yard is up that road and there’s all these people sliding down and getting into accidents.”
Hurley praised former contractor Argo, which she said did a spectacular job of keeping the road clear and sanded.
“That’s why in those days I never worried about getting to the hospital on time,” said Hurley.
The Observer contacted AIM Roads but no one was immediately available for comment.
The Columbia Shuswap Regional District is not responsible for the maintenance of rural roads within Service Area 13-Okanagan-Shuswap, which includes Electoral Area C, D and the majority of areas E and F. These roads are the responsibility of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and its highways contractor.
The regional district suggests those with concerns or comments around road maintenance in the Okanagan-Shuswap service area contact the ministry’s Vernon office at 250-503-3664, or AIM Roads at 1-866-222-4204 or email email@example.com.
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