Highway 3 and 3A are now considered Class A highways under the new contract (photo Emcon Facebook page)

Castlegar, Grand Forks areas to see cleaner winter roads under new contract

YRB set to take over 10-year maintenance contract on Monday

The provincial highways department is promising better communication and snow-clearing standards when a new operator takes over highway maintenance in the area next week.

The contract for Service Area 9, which includes provincial roads in the Grand Forks and Castlegar areas, was awarded to Yellowhead Road and Bridge Ltd. this summer.

The contract has a 10-year term and an optional five-year extension. It takes effect on Monday.

The last 15-year contract, worth $10.67 million, was held by Emcon Services. There’s no word on the value of this contract.

Highways maintenance in the region came under scrutiny after several fatalities locally last winter.

Castlegar council questions highway department over poor road conditions

The province says it has rewritten the maintenance contracts to have higher snow-clearing standards and a more proactive approach when a severe weather event occurs.

Among the changes:

• Increased communication with the public about rapidly changing road conditions during severe weather events and other incidents.

• Return Winter Class A highways to bare pavement within 24 hours of a winter weather event ending at pavement temperatures of -9 C or warmer, when de-icing chemical use is safe and effective. The previous standard was 48 hours.

• Increase patrol frequency to 90 minutes on a Class A highway during a winter storm. The previous standard was four hours. Under the new contract, Highway 3, 3A from Castlegar to Nelson, 3B from Trail east to the junction with 3; and 22 will be considered a Class A highway.

• When a weather event is forecasted, increase the patrol frequency to four hours. The previous standard was 24 hours.

Under the new agreement, contractors will be required to be more proactive prior to a winter weather event occurring, and to spread anti-icing chemicals prior to the weather event.

In all, private contractors maintain nearly 47,000 kilometres of road and 2,800 bridges. The province spends about $400 million annually maintaining its highways.



john.boivin@castlegarnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Pacific Insight to close in April

The remaining employees at the Nelson automotive manufacturing facility to be laid off

RCMP bike patrol coming to Castlegar

The pair of bicycles will be from a local shop and cost over $6,000 each.

Castlegar orders new fire truck to replace engine, rescue vehicle

The 2020 vehicle was purchased for about $750,000

Snow hosts available to help you explore the Rossland Range

Safe and responsible way to learn about Rossland Recreation Site

Trail cannabis shop gets green light from province

The Higher Path hopes to open doors in next couple of weeks

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

Most Read