Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting says that the recent combination of snow and freezing temperatures has made for challenging conditions in terms of snow and ice removal.
The focus has been on making sure main routes like highways are open and safe, says Mainroad. The contractor hopes to be able to apply anti-icing solutions, but with not much of a reprieve in cold temperatures in sight their window to do so is small.
“During the past few weather events, which have carried on for days at a time and delivered much higher-than-expected snow accumulation to the East Kootenay and other B.C. service areas, our snow clearing operations focused on keeping the main highways and arterial routes safe,” Mainroad said in a press release.
They add that their focus now is on clearing compact snow and ice, and widening all service area roads/shoulders, with a special focus on arterial and side routes.
“Road crews are also applying winter abrasives (winter sand) to improve traction on all roads,” Mainroad continued.
The below freezing temperatures haven’t allowed for crews to de-ice, but Mainroad says they will do so if and when weather permits.
“This will involve an operational change from winter abrasive to anti-icing chemicals, to help remove remaining compact from highways and arterial routes,” the contractor said. “Temperatures are, unfortunately, forecasted to remain extremely cold for the near future, so we anticipate several days of applying winter abrasive before weather conditions allow the use of different winter materials.”
Drivers are asked by Mainroad to drive to conditions and watch for equipment on the roads.
“The safety of the travelling public is Mainroad’s highest priority,” said the release. “Our maintenance crews are dedicated employees who have worked tirelessly to maintain the highways during these extreme weather conditions and to the standards set by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
“Mainroad crews will be working to clear the highway surfaces as quickly and safely as possible.”
Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.