Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting LP is the successful proponent to provide highway and bridge maintenance in East Kootenay. The company, which currently holds the contract, is expected to provide increased levels of service using new technology under updated specifications that will improve the quality of maintenance. The contract, $16.7 million annually over a seven-year term, was awarded following an open, competitive tender process.
“This new contract increases the amount spent on maintenance by $490,000 a year so Mainroad will be able to meet the expectations of people in the region,” said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “With Mainroad continuing as the maintenance contractor for this area, there will be a smooth transition to the new contract and the comfort that an experienced contractor with employees who are knowledgeable about the local issues will continue to keep our highways safe.”
The number of serious crashes in the East Kootenay area has dropped from nearly 200 in 2006 to fewer than 100 in 2014. The new contract, with its more stringent requirements, will allow Mainroad to further improve maintenance in the region and continue the downward trend in the number of crashes each year.
“I am pleased to see the value of the contract has been increased and the specifications improved to provide a higher level of service,” said Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines and MLA for Kootenay East. “We have heard the public’s concerns about maintenance in the region and I am confident these changes to the contract, and Mainroad’s new equipment and more efficient deployment of resources will improve the maintenance service in this region.”
"We have worked closely with our employees, members of BCGEU, on a bid that will enable us to meet the new contract standards in East Kootenay,” said Peter Ashcroft, CEO, Mainroad. “We’re confident that this new contract will enable us to build on our past experience in the region and look forward to serving the community over the new contract term.”
Mainroad has developed a more efficient operation that will provide a better level of service to meet the new winter specifications, including:
- Increased investment in larger, more efficient equipment (6 tridem axle, 18 tandem axle and 8 single axle plows, all with wing plows attached) supplemented with one tow plow with anti-icing capacity and one trailer sanding unit which creates a 14% increase in winter material carrying capacity;
- Having all plows equipped with AVLS (Automated Vehicle Locator System) which uses GPS to track the plow locations and ensure efficient deployment of the fleet;
- Relocating the maintenance yards and having greater stockpiles of materials at those yards to serve the local area better;
- Increasing the use of liquid anti-icing chemicals by 250% (currently use one million litres, will use 3.5 million litres) by having liquid chemical production capability and storage at all five yards;
- Having a “Snow Desk”: a single point of contact staffed around the clock during winter events that has authority to deploy equipment anywhere in the service area as required.
The award of the East Kootenay contract is the first step of the ministry’s maintenance contract renewal process. The remaining 27 service area contracts will be tendered as they expire, starting in 2018.
A backgrounder follows.