Road Maintenance

Updates and background on the work we do to maintain and rehab BC bridges and highways during the spring, summer and fall.

BC Road Trip Time Machine – Prince Rupert to Terrace in 1966

Cyclists near Terrace2

Join us on a Highway 16 road trip from 50 years ago, through some of BC’s most spectacular natural landscapes – Prince Rupert to Terrace. The folks in our Skeena District office travelled this segment of the BC Road Trip Time Machine recently, and identified dramatic changes between then and now. What a difference five decades makes! Some comparisons to watch for on your journey… So Curvy! Highway 16 had a lot of curves in 1966, and vegetation grew...

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Solving the Lions Gate Bridge “Bump” for Repairs

Solving the Lions Gate Bridge “Bump” for Repairs

Lions Gate Bridge travellers may have had a bumpy ride during last year’s rehabilitation work that required us to use a temporary road plate while replacing a bridge deck joint. It’s time again to do some more rehab work; but please don’t worry – we have a smooth solution. In order to avoid traffic delays like the ones that happened last year, we’ve developed a comprehensive “bump-free” plan to keep traffic moving smoothly while we replace the expansion joint...

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How Maintenance Contractors Are Rescuers at the Ready

MC training

Ministry maintenance contractors spend a lot of time on the road in winter – but it’s not just about plowing and sanding. Should an unexpected avalanche cover an open highway, these workers are nearby and ready to help. Every year, our ministry avalanche technicians deliver search and rescue training to maintenance contractors who work on BC highways, located below some 1,388 avalanche paths. The training also includes: the contractor’s typical role of closing a route for avalanche control work...

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Looking for Line Painting that Can Take a Pounding

Line Paint Testing

  Do line-marking paints exist that will survive our challenging climates? For the next year, we’re testing line-marking paints, to determine which best weather the tough conditions on BC’s highways. How long will each paint take the scouring of winter abrasives (aka crushed stone and gravel)? Will it stand up under the scraping of snow plow blades, what effect will heavy rain, snow or slush have, and how long will it be before the weight and friction of vehicles...

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Culvert Maintenance Responsibilities on BC Highways: Your Questions Answered

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Do you own property along a BC highway? If you do, you might have some questions about culverts and culvert maintenance. You’ve come to the right place. Whether you are constructing a new driveway that requires a culvert, or you have a pre-existing culvert that needs replacing or maintenance, here is what you need to know in order to keep your culvert and road access clear. What you Need for a New Culvert If there is an existing ditch...

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What is Sealcoating and Why Are We Doing it on BC Highways?

Sealcoating up close

No, we aren’t making jackets for cold little seals, although that is a nice thought – isn’t it? Sealcoating is actually a common type of road resurfacing done on BC highways. It involves the application of a special mixture to the road that protects the road base from additional wear and tear. So it’s kind of like a little jacket, but for roads. When it’s applied over existing pavement, sealcoating is a really cost-effective way of resurfacing that extends...

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Unleashing the Snowcats: Clearing the Terrace-Kitimat Blizzard

Snowcat snapshot

How do you clear the roads when the amount of snowfall over 36 hours amounts to the height of the average Canadian adult? You get creative, and look to the ski hills. When 168 cm (5’6”) of snow fell in the Terrace-Kitimat area between February 5 and 7 (4pm-4am, 2015), local maintenance contractor Nechako Northcoast brought in heavy equipment from outside, such as graders, loaders, and three snowcats. Typically used on ski hills, these cool cats are designed to...

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What Happens After a Rock Hits a BC Highway

Geo Assess Engineers

Rockfalls tend to happen more often in spring, when slopes above highways can be affected by changing temperatures and increased rainfall. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Rockwork Program uses a variety of techniques to keep rock and debris off highways. But rockfalls are a natural process and cannot always be prevented. In those cases, the ministry and its maintenance contractors spring into action to ensure the highway is cleared and safe for travellers. Reporting a Rockfall Maintenance Contractors...

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ARAN – the “Flashy” Road Analyzing Tool

Aran Rocky Mtn

What has three colours of flashing lights and travels up to 80 kilometres an hour on B.C. highways while simultaneously gathering more than 10,000 measurements per second? It’s ARAN – the Automatic Road Analyzer! And if you were in Northern B.C. this summer there’s a remote chance you may have spotted this unusual vehicle, logging about 6,500 kilometres of road. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure hires this super specialized van (and the people who operate it and the...

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Drive a BC Highway in 15,000 Photos

Photolog Graphic

Ever hear of a kineograph? We hadn’t until now, but we knew about the more common term for the same thing: a “flip book”. You’ve probably seen them before – a thick book filled with pictures that seems to come alive when you flip through the pages. It may seem like a primitive form of entertainment now, but back in the day, it was the equivalent of a home theater system, without the surround sound, of course. What do...

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