Have you ever wondered how maintenance contractors plan their approach to winter maintenance? Schedule their work around storm conditions? Or how about, what kind of equipment they have at the ready to keep BC highways safe?
Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting will be holding open house sessions to share this kind of information about updates to their winter operations and how they plan to use new technology to improve service levels and public safety in their service area at the following locations:
- Cranbrook Public Open House – Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort – November 1st from 1-3:00 p.m.
- Fernie Public Open House – Park Place Lodge – November 2nd from 1-3:00 p.m.
- Invermere/Columbia Valley Public Open House – Kanata Hotel – November 30 from 4-6 p.m.
If you live in the area, we hope you can attend. If not, here’s a brief overview of the plan Mainroad has developed for a more efficient operation to provide a better level of service to meet the new winter specifications, including:
- Increased investment in larger, more efficient equipment (6 tridem axle, 18 tandem axle and 8 single axle plows, all with wing plows attached) supplemented with one tow plow with anti-icing capacity and one trailer sanding unit which creates a 14% increase in winter material carry capacity;
- Having all plows equipped with AVLS (Automated Vehicle Location System) which uses GPS to track the plow locations and ensure efficient deployment of the fleet;
- Relocating the maintenance yards and having greater stockpiles of materials at those yards to serve the local area better;
- Increasing the use of liquid anti-icing chemicals by 250% (currently use one million litres, will use 3.5 million litres) by having liquid chemical production capability and storage at all five yards;
- Having a “Snow Desk”: a single point of contact staffed around the clock during winter events that has authority to deploy equipment anywhere in the service area as required.
We constantly monitor the work of our maintenance contractors to ensure they are in line with the terms of their contract and are meeting our high standards. Contractors’ work is also assessed by local ministry staff within the service area and by the annual assessments of auditors from outside the service area. We also check with local stakeholders including emergency responders, elected officials and school bus operators.
Our maintenance contractors across the province work hard to make sure they are ready for anything Old Man Winter throws their way, including:
- Being rescuers at the ready
- Putting safety plans into action
- Teaching students about snowplow safety
You can play an important part in keeping BC Highways safe too. Always check DriveBC before you travel and be sure to drive to road conditions. Do you have any questions about this or any other work the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure does? Let us know in the comments below. Safe travels all.