Avalanche Program

Information on how our Avalanche Safety Program keeps our roads safe, constantly monitoring conditions and closing-reopening roads to avoid disaster.

Avalanche Closure Time Cut by Explosive Innovation

Electrical Innovation

The Kootenay Pass avalanche team wanted to shorten road closures due to avalanche control, because at the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure our biggest drive is to keep people and goods moving efficiently and safely along BC highways. When the new avalanche explosion hardware and software were installed in 2015, BC became the first Gazex system user in the world, to not only suggest this change, but to incorporate new software successfully into an existing system.

Read more »

How to Keep Traffic Moving in Avalanche Country

02

  It looks like something out of Star Wars. Large metal towers dominating a vantage point over a frozen cliff face that suddenly drop explosives charges, triggering a wall of snow that cascades down the mountain. But this isn’t science fiction. It’s a new technology designed to make roads safer and cut down on traffic headaches. It’s called a Remote Avalanche Control System, or RACS, and this winter we’re piloting it along a stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway called...

Read more »

What it’s Like to Watch an Avalanche from a Helicopter

bear pass avalanche control

For most people, avalanches incite terror (for good reason!), and should be avoided at all times. But what is true for backcountry enthusiasts doesn’t apply to our ministry avalanche technicians. For them, uniting snow and gravity is a way of life – performed from a safe distance in the name of highway safety. Our crews recently captured video footage of two methods of avalanche control at separate ends of the province: Bear Pass and Kootenay Pass. And it’s pretty...

Read more »

Can You Guess the BC Highway Mountain Pass Word Scramble?

Can You Guess the BC Highway Mountain Pass Word Scramble?

Mountain passes have always posed special challenges for engineers and travellers – ever since we started blazing foot trails, carving out wagon roads, and ultimately laying down highways. But while steep grades and fast-changing weather conditions demand extra caution, mountain passes give us access to some of the most beautiful scenery in the province. There are more than 50 mountain passes in BC, many of them natural landmarks from our favourite road trips. We thought it would be fun...

Read more »

Behind the Scenes: Hanging From a Rock Face for Avalanche Safety

Fencing 2

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Avalanche and Weather Program is changing the landscape of avalanche control in Canada. Dropping explosives from a helicopter has traditionally been our weapon of choice for triggering controlled avalanches. But some challenging terrain on Yellowhead Highway 16, between Terrace and Prince Rupert, has compelled our avalanche team to try harnessing snow and ice rather than letting it loose. In fall 2014, crews completed Canada’s second ever avalanche fencing installation at the 35 Mile...

Read more »

Tell TranBC

2014_TellTranBC

What Do You Want to Know More About? Are you looking for something on TranBC but can’t find it? Or have a question about what the ministry does and why we do it? Share your question with us and we’ll try to get you an answer. Who knows – your question could be our next blog! Thank you – we couldn’t do this without YOU.

Read more »

Double Avalanche: All the Way

2014_doubleavalanche

Sometimes, the sheer power and raw beauty of nature (with a little help from us, for safety’s sake) are so overwhelming, you just have to sit back and say, “Like, wow man. Double avalanche! All the way!” (much a like a certain popular rainbow video) That’s exactly what we did when we received this footage from our avalanche team late last week after they finished up some control work on BC Highway 3 near Fernie. Pretty amazing stuff, eh?...

Read more »

The Web Cam You Won’t See on DriveBC

Lardeau Bluffs images

While we have close to 300 web cams offering a total of almost 400 views that motorists use for safe travel in B.C., there’s one web cam with a special job that you won’t see. You won’t see the web cam alongside Highway 31 north of Kaslo, on DriveBC, because its focus isn’t road conditions – it’s Lardeau Bluffs, which loom high above the road along Kootenay Lake. Avalanche technicians with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure use the...

Read more »

Share and Share Alike – Federal Sections on Provincial Highways

Glacier National Park

A strange thing happens when you’re travelling B.C.’s highways and you head through Rogers Pass, cruise alongside Long Beach near Tofino, or drive Highway 97, 133 kilometres north of Dawson Creek. You see, the ground under your tires changes… You may think that’s provincially owned and operated road beneath you…but it’s not. These stretches of road are owned and operated by the federal government’s Parks Canada Agency, which has a long involvement with the surrounding areas for ecological (parks)...

Read more »

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure: What the Heck Do We Do, Anyway?

Sea to Sky blog

With a broad name like Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, there are bound to be questions. Like small-talk at a cocktail party, those 13 syllables beg the question: “So, what do you do?” Our Way is the Highway When thinking about the ministry, the first thing that pops into your head is likely B.C. highways. That’s because about 80 per cent of what we do involves building, rehabilitating and maintaining provincial highways to keep you moving safely and goods...

Read more »