Why We Have 5 Big Questions about Solar Roadways

July 25, 2014
Solar road

There’s been a lot of talk about solar roadways lately, and since we’ve started to get questions about them, we thought we’d let you know where we stand on the issue. The idea of using our roads to generate power sounds great, and we’re eager to see how this technology develops, but at this moment, don’t expect to see solar provincial roadways in B.C. anytime soon. Here’s why. The concept is still very much being researched and tested. The American Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funded a test concept brought forward by the company Solar Roadways in 2011. That test was in a parking lot in Sagle, Idaho. It’s now complete, and the company is now looking for funding to move to the next phase of research and testing. A question we’d want answered is how this would stand up to a 26,000 kg logging truck trailer? Ever heard of...

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Bridging Rogers Creek to Protect Port Alberni

July 19, 2014
BN 06676_ PN 16408-0001 RogersCreek_ConstructionReport_July04

There’s a lot of digging and bridging going on at Rogers Creek in Port Alberni. The ministry is replacing the culvert, which runs under the Port Alberni Highway, with a 44-metre-long single span steel girder bridge. The bridge will provide a wider opening for Rogers Creek to pass through. Why wasn’t the culvert good enough? It was relatively small in comparison to some of the logging debris that builds up. In fact, during a 2006 storm, emergency crews needed to respond quickly to clear heavy logging debris before potentially triggering a series of damaging events. “That logging debris, if it plugged the culvert, would turn this road into a dam,” says project manager Allan Galambos. “That dam, if it then broke, would cause a lot of damage to the city of Port Alberni, which is just downstream.”With the local hospital nearby, it’s important to keep traffic flowing while crews...

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3 Things You Need To Know About How We Update Information on DriveBC

July 16, 2014
Hwy 99

DriveBC is our most popular website and it’s easy to see why. It’s the place you go to find out everything you need to know about road conditions and events across the province and to make informed decisions about travelling, before you head out on the highway. Recently, you asked us how and when information is updated on the site. It’s a good question and one we are happy to answer (along with a couple of other questions sent in to us recently). Read on: 1.       Where does the information come from? When an event happens on a provincial highway, whether it’s planned or un-planned, our goal is to get the word out as soon as possible. Getting and sharing the right information in a timely way means that we have to draw on multiple sources for updates. These include: emergency services (police, ambulance, fire), ministry staff, ministry maintenance...

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Only You Can Prevent Roadside Wildfires

July 16, 2014
BC wildfire

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure works around the clock with safety in mind, but we need your help with something. Could you butt out? You heard us right, we need you to put that cigarette butt out properly when you are finished smoking. Warmer temperatures may mean fun in the sun for you, but they also mean higher fire hazard ratings across the province and cigarette carelessness is the key culprit in many of the wildfires that occur on roadways during the summer.Cigarettes are not the only culprit to blame. Here are some other ways that wildfires are started along roadsides: Did you know that bottles and broken glass can act as a magnifying glass, catching the sun and sparking fires through reflection? Keep your drink containers in your car until you get to your destination and recycle them. Barbeques and summer go hand in hand. When you...

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16 Ways BikeBC is Opening Up the Road for BC Cyclists

July 11, 2014
Biking BC

“Brains before beauty, wear your helmet!” – Unknown Good advice. I’m noticing more and more people taking up cycling as a way to get out and enjoy the scenery, but one of the most popular reasons is to get their “exercise on” and live a healthier lifestyle. Now there’s going to be a few more options to do that. As part of our BikeBC program, we’re joining with 13 communities to expand and build cycling lanes, trails and paths. They include… Barriere – River Trail Network, Bartlett Road at Airfield Road to Yard Road at Highway 5 Capital Regional District – Rainbow Road (Salt Spring Island) separated bike path Castlegar – 17th Street/Connors Road multi-use separated path City of North Vancouver – 3rd Street multi-use path and bike lane Coquitlam – Glen Drive bikeway bike lanes and shared roadway Coquitlam – Cross town route removal of impediments Spuraway/Mariner intersection upgrade...

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What We Do with Abandoned Vehicles on BC Highways

July 10, 2014
road maintenance on BC Highway

Parked along the highway, abandoned vehicles can be eerie, mysterious, even menacing…. You can’t help but wonder…what happened to the occupants? What is the story behind the vehicle left behind? Whenever the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure employees or contractors spot (or hear of) an unoccupied vehicle roadside, our first thought is safety. If the abandoned vehicle is in any part of a lane, or in the way of snow removal equipment, it’s a danger to traffic and will be towed immediately. (This is in the B.C. Transportation Act). So if your vehicle has broken down while you’re on the road, move it to the shoulder if you can do so safely, or call a tow truck, if you’re able. A Path to Keeping Highways Clear To keep highways and road shoulders unobstructed for traffic, the ministry has a procedure to deal with abandoned vehicles. The road surface, plus...

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How We Put Driftwood and Debris to Work For BC Highways

July 8, 2014
Debris

Rugged. Windy. Wet. Wild. If you’ve been to the west coast of B.C., chances are you’ve driven on a highway running alongside the ocean fitting this exact description. While this makes for a beautiful drive, having a highway close to the ocean, like anything else, is not without complications. Take Stories Beach on Vancouver Island for example; in the fall of 2013, we completed a pilot “green shores” restoration project at the beach on Highway 19A, which is just south of Campbell River. The shoreline here was eroding and beginning to creep toward the east side of the highway. Not a good thing. Our original plan was to put riprap in along the foreshore of Stories Beach in order to protect the highway. Rip rap is normally a ‘rock star’ in erosion protection however; in certain circumstances, such as storm season, waves crash off of the hard riprap, and...

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