How We Make BC Highways Better for Everyone Who Travels Them

caribooYou’ve driven over, under or through countless examples of our efforts to make BC highways better for everyone and you might not have even realized it. You might have wondered – what’s that bridge overhead going from nowhere to nowhere? Or, why are those goats running around in that gravel pit?

BC highways travel through some of the most amazing environments on earth. You already know that these roads connect our communities and country and that a BIG part of our job is to maintain these highways, but did you know we are responsible for minimizing the impact highways have on roadside environments and more importantly to make them even better?

To do it, we have a team of environmental specialists dedicated to protecting the roadside environment (and beyond) by making sure our transportation infrastructure is developed and maintained in an environmentally responsible way.

Here’s a sample of the work they do and what that work looks like at the end of the day:

S Wong Tseycum

Senior Wildlife Biologist Sean Wong works with members of the Tseycum First Nation during restoration work.

  • Work that breaks ground, occurs in or near streams or impacts wildlife are all undertaken with the end goal of improving the roadside environment and all require permits. We work with federal, provincial and local governments, First Nations, as well as a variety of stakeholder and special interest groups on over 200 permits and notifications each year!
  • Because we work closely with so many different groups of people, we have the opportunity to develop comprehensive standards, policies and best practices for the work we do. These documents help educate our contractors and anyone else interested in our work. They also make sure we are all doing the right thing, every time.

We also manage a variety of programs that help make the roadside environment a better place for everyone. Here’s a list of some of those programs and how they help:

Harper Creek

Post construction monitoring, fish sampling on newly constructed/restored Harper Creek channel east of Kamloops on Highway 1.

Under excavation

Removal of the older, restrictive culvert at Luxor Creek and the new Luxor Creek Bridge in the background on Highway 95. Animals and fish can now move freely from one side of the road to the other. Win-win!

Phew! That’s quite the list, don’t you think? It’s a lot of work, but we are committed to keeping this province a beautiful place to travel and live in, no matter what species you belong to. Have any questions about this, or any other transportation related topic? Let us know in the comments below.

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2 Responses to How We Make BC Highways Better for Everyone Who Travels Them

  1. Nick Thomas on December 2, 2016 at 8:39 am

    Is there any environmental review on the impact of highway upgrades in reducing spills due to accidents? I have worked on MANY remediation jobs on the Trans-Canada where the soil contaminated with diesel after a transport has wrecked is dug out, transported to a dump and replaced. Costs money, causes delays and I’m sure the clean up isn’t always perfect (e.g. if the spill runs through a culvert and way down the slope below the highway. Heaven help us if anything really toxic ever spills.

    • tranbceditor on December 8, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      Hi Nick,

      While haven’t done a specific review on remediation savings related to road upgrades, many of the road upgrades we undertake are driven by safety improvements. Reducing the number and severity of vehicle incidents provides a whole suite of benefits, one of which is avoiding environmental damage (and remediation costs) associated with these accidents. Hope that this helps!

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