Despite changes, UDOT to still plow ski resort roads

Dec 13 2011 - 11:21pm

OGDEN -- The Utah Department of Transportation has changed its policy on plowing snow on roads leading to ski areas.

But don't worry, local resorts are still going to have clear roads.

UDOT has removed a mathematical formula that was previously used to determine if snow service should be provided to a particular winter area on weekends and holidays.

The formula required data that was often unavailable or difficult to gather, said UDOT Operations Engineer Ahmad Jaber.

Under UDOT's new policy, snow removal at for-profit winter areas during the weekend or holidays is now completely up to the discretion of the UDOT director in a particular region.

UDOT plows both state roads 158 and 226, commonly known as Powder Mountain Road and Snowbasin Road, respectively.

UDOT Region One spokesman Vic Saunders said although the state has made the new policy, those two roads will continue to be plowed just as they have in years past.

"On those roads, you have a tremendous amount of traffic, and we want to keep them as safe as possible. That's the No. 1 priority."

Officials with both Snowbasin and Powder Mountain say they have good working relationships with UDOT, and the roads leading to their resorts are properly cared for, assuring safe travel for resort guests.

"UDOT has been very efficient, and they understand that we have a lot of traffic coming onto our resort and that we need to keep it safe," said Patrick Lundin, public relations and marketing manager at Powder Mountain.

Jason Dyer, marketing director at Snowbasin, said UDOT crews were up on the mountain early Tuesday morning, ready to clear snow from the day's storm.

"A lot of people don't realize that Snowbasin Road is a state road," he said, "so as long as the state owns the road, they'll be the ones who plow it."

Winter recreation areas must provide adequate parking away from a state-owned highway and must clear those parking areas themselves.

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