New highway maintenance contract for southern Vancouver Island expected to improve road standards. (File photo)

New road maintenance contract for southern Vancouver Island announced

Higher standards expected

Plans are for improved road maintenance on the area’s highways just in time for the winter driving season.

A new maintenance contract has been awarded for the service of provincial roadways between Victoria and Mt. Sicker Road in North Cowichan, west to Lake Cowichan and Port Renfrew, as well as the southern Gulf Islands that is expected to see improved standards and better highway conditions year-round.

The contract was awarded to Emcon Services Inc. through an open bidding process.

The contract has a 10-year term and an optional five-year extension.

It comes into effect on Oct. 1, the day after the existing contract expires.

Mainroad South Island Contracting is the existing contractor for the south Island, and the company has been the contractor in the area since 2004.

“While the loss of the … contract is obviously disappointing and indicative of a very competitive tender process, Mainroad crews were very proud to serve South Island communities,” said Peter Ashcroft, president and CEO for the Mainroad Group.

“We enjoyed the excellent relationships held with the Ministry (of Transporation and Infrastructure) and our stakeholders. Thank you for your support. We wish Emcon Services every success.”

The new maintenance contracts for all service areas in B.C. now require higher standards and a more proactive approach when a severe weather event occurs.

Some of the biggest improvements over the most recent contracts include increasing communication with the public about rapidly changing road conditions during severe weather events and other incidents affecting travel on B.C. roads, and returning winter Class A highways to bare pavement within 24 hours of a winter weather event, when the temperature is -9 C or warmer (the previous standard was 48 hours).

The new contract will also see the increase of patrol frequency to 90 minutes on a Class A highway, such as the Malahat, during a winter storm (the previous standard was four hours); increasing the patrol frequency to four hours when a weather event is forecast (the previous standard was 24 hours); and requiring contractors to be more proactive prior to a winter weather event.

B.C. spends about $400 million per year to private contractors for highway maintenance, covering 47,000 km of highway and 2,800 bridges.

Their crews apply 750,000 tonnes of winter abrasives and 100,000 tonnes of salt each year.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Ladysmith gas prices spike over night to 151.9 per litre

A provincial inquiry found B.C. drivers pay a 13 percent premimum compared to other provinces

Woman charged with numerous drug offenses

Police make arrest on an outstanding warrant dating back to earlier raid on Chemainus property

Saltair Marine’s ‘Silver Bullet’ found by RCMP months after reported theft

The $20,000 vessel was stolen from the Ladysmith Marina back in July

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Most Read