Posts Tagged ‘ maintenance ’

Watch How We Get Through Winter on the Coquihalla

The Coquihalla (BC Highway 5 from Hope to Merritt) is the province’s busiest mountain pass. At more than 1,200 metres in elevation, it’s also one of the routes hit hardest by heavy snowfall and other winter conditions. Fear not… we have a plan, and a team of professionals to execute what we call: The Coquihalla Snowshed Protocol. When the snow flies, the team carries out a series of steps to make sure you safely make it up and over...

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What You Need to Know About Winter Weather on the “Coq”

We’ve heard from a few folks recently asking how they can travel the Coquihalla safely during the winter.  Apart from our usual recommendations for proper tires, checking DriveBC, keeping a full tank of gas and driving to conditions, we thought we could help travellers make better decisions around their travel by identifying some of the winter conditions found on the Coquihalla and explaining how they might impact travel. So, we asked our Weather Services Specialist, Simon Walker (who worked...

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Looking for Line Painting that Can Take a Pounding

  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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How to Drive Around Snow Plows in BC

Pop quiz! You’re driving a two-lane highway after a fresh dumping of snow. You spot the flashing lights of a snow plow up ahead in the left lane. You… a) Speed up to get ready to pass in the right lane; b) Maintain speed until you settle in close behind the plow; c) Flash your high beams until the plow truck pulls over to let you pass; d) Keep your distance until the plow truck pulls over to allow...

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Driving Divided Freeways in BC: 7 Tips You Need to Know

There are many kinds of highways in BC: Rural highways, urban highways, primary highways, secondary highways, freeways and expressways just to name a few. Each type of highway serves a different purpose. For example, a freeway is a divided primary highway built for through traffic (as opposed to local traffic access) with two or more lanes in each direction of travel. These lanes are accessible via interchanges only. A good example of a freeway is BC Highway 5, also...

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ARAN – the “Flashy” Road Analyzing Tool

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

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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Only You Can Prevent Roadside Wildfires

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...

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Can You Guess the #1 Cone Zone Violation?

The Vancouver Police Department, RCMP and CVSE helped kick start the Cone Zone roadside worker safety awareness campaign by setting up undercover enforcement operations at work zones around the province last Monday (May 12). The #1 violation in Vancouver? Mobile phones. Of 30 violations caught by police at 500 West Georgia Street and 700 Richards Street, 27 were for distracted driving involving mobile phones. At the Burrard Street Bridge, 44 offences were ticketed, mostly involving mobile phones and speeding....

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A Look Behind the Scenes at Winter Maintenance in B.C.

When the snow starts falling, the plows hit the roads. Sounds like it could almost be a country song, but it’s also the theme of our latest video, which was shot on location in the east Kootenays this winter with the help of our local maintenance contractor, Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting. We touch on a lot of topics in this one, like which streets get plowing priority, how often contractors plow (spoiler: they’re plowing 24/7, if required) and the...

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