A new maintenance contract has been awarded for the service area on southern Vancouver Island, improving standards and requiring better highway conditions for British Columbians, year-round.
The contract for Service Area 01 was awarded to Emcon Services Inc. through an open bidding process. The service area includes 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.
The contract has a 10-year term and an optional five-year extension. It comes into effect on Oct. 1, 2019, the day after the existing contract expires.
The new maintenance contracts for all service areas 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;
- returning 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);
- increasing the 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 forecasted (the previous standard was 24 hours); and
- requiring contractors to be more proactive prior to a winter weather event and to spread anti-icing chemicals prior to the weather event.
- Private contractors maintain nearly 47,000 kilometres of road and 2,800 bridges in some of the most challenging terrain in Canada.
- Every year, crews apply 100,000 tonnes of salt and 750,000 tonnes of winter abrasives over 1.2 million kilometres of B.C. highways.
- The value of these 28 highway maintenance agreements totals approximately $400 million annually.
Follow the work of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure: http://www.tranbc.ca