Mainroad Lower Mainland Contracting is preparing for another winter of highway maintenance. (File)

Lower Mainland highway crews prepare for a winter of heavy rain, wind

Mainroad Group gets ready for predicted ‘El Nino’ winter

As the days grow shorter and the weather becomes colder, crews are preparing to keep the Lower Mainland’s highways safe for winter driving.

Mainroad Group, the company contracted to maintain provincial highways in the Lower Mainland, is responsible for 1,430 km of provincial highway lanes.

General manager Darren Ell said an “El Nino” winter is forecasted this year, so “we’re not expecting as much freezing or snow conditions as we have in the last few years.” However, as anything is possible, crews will remain ready around the clock to “tackle those conditions as they occur.”

A warmer winter season brings with it other risks, such as heavy rainfall and high wind conditions. Mainroad crews will be monitoring drainage systems to ensure water is flowing off the highway, and checking on areas where trees may be more prone to wind damage in order to clean up vegetation as it comes down.

If a motorist sees a hazard on a provincial highway, they can call Mainroad’s 24/7 communication office at 604-271-0337 to report it to maintenance crews.

Should snow and freezing rain come despite predictions, Mainroad is well-stocked. Among the four separate salt depots they hold in the Lower Mainland, they have 2,000 tonnes of salt stored. Ell added that, should it come to it, their supplier has an additional 60,000 tonnes set aside. “We’ve never had salt issues in the past,” he said.

This year, Mainroad has brought back the tow-plow, which is pulled behind a standard plow truck. It’s much more effective than the standard machine, Ell explained. A standard plow clears 3/4 of a lane, and a tow-plow can clear two lanes of traffic at once.

Ell also warned motorists to expect more echelon plowing — when several plows clear the highway in a staggered line — as it allows crews to clear more lanes with less vehicles, making it more efficient. Ell reminded drivers to “be patient” and to not attempt to pass the plows.

“Let the plow do its job,” he said. “Stay back.”

Tips on sharing the road with snow plows:

  • Maintain a safe following distance. Remember that snow plows have limited visibility — operators can’t see directly behind their vehicles.
  • If two or more snow plows are clearing multiple lanes on a highway, do not try to pass. When you try to pass, you are putting yourself, the plow operators and other vehicles on the road at risk.
  • Remember that the road in front of the plow hasn’t been plowed yet. Slow down and be patient. When it is safe to do so, the snow plow will pull over and let you pass.

For more safety tips on winter driving, motorists can go to shiftintowinter.ca.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

More rescues, less flames: Future of Abbotsford firefighting up for discussion

Mayor says talks with province needed, councillors suggest city may need more full-time firefighters

String of purse snatches at Mill Lake in Abbotsford

Two women were mugged in a three week period starting Sept. 30

Harrison outdoor skating rink to open this weekend

Public skating will be open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily

Mission principal saves goat, praised as hero by kindergarten students

“Today I get to be the hero in their eyes, changing the world one stuck goat at a time”

Abbotsford man’s murder trial set for January

David Albert Miller charged in death of 52-year-old woman in Kamloops

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Canucks erupt with 5 power-play goals in win over Nashville

Vancouver ends three-game slide with 6-3 triumph over Predators

B.C. widow suing health authority after ‘untreatable’ superbug killed her husband

New Public Agency Health report puts Canadian death toll at 5,400 in 2018

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Trudeau appears open to safer-opioid proposal in Vancouver: mayor

The city has applied for $6 million from Health Canada to allow for the safe distribution of diamorphine

Security guard at Kamloops music festival gets three years for sexually assaulting concertgoer

Shawn Christopher Gray walked the woman home after she became seperated from her friends, court heard

Most Read