VANCOUVER ISLAND GOOGLE IMAGES PHOTO The new maintenance contracts for all service areas require higher standards and a more proactive approach when a severe weather event occurs.

Better road conditions coming to North Island

The North Island contract has been awarded to Mainroad North Island Contracting LP.

A new maintenance contract has been awarded to ensure better highway conditions for North Island drivers.

For Service Area 03, which covers the areas of the Comox Valley, Campbell River and Port Hardy, the contract has been awarded to Mainroad North Island Contracting LP.

The contract has a 10-year term and an optional five-year extension. It is set to begin on Sept. 1, 2018, 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. Here are some of the biggest improvements over the most recent contracts:

* Return Highway 19, Highway 4 and other Class A winter highways to bare pavement within 24 hours of a severe weather event. The previous standard was 48 hours at temperatures of -9 C or warmer.

* Expanded sweeping along cycling routes.

* Increased communication with the public to rapidly changing road conditions during severe weather events and other incidents affecting travel on B.C. roads.

* When a weather event is forecasted to occur, increase the patrol frequency to four hours in anticipation of the weather event. The previous standard was 24 hours.

Twenty-six of the 28 maintenance contracts in the province will be tendered and awarded in 2018 and 2019, through a staggered open-bidding process.

Quick Facts:

* Private contractors maintain nearly 47,000 kilometres of road and 2,800 bridges in some of the most challenging terrain in Canada.

* Crews apply 750,000 tonnes of winter abrasives and 100,000 tonnes of salt to over 1.2 million kilometres of highways annually throughout B.C.

* The value of these 28 highway maintenance agreements totals approximately $400 million annually.

Learn More:

For more information on the ministry’s highway maintenance contract renewal program, go to: www.gov.bc.ca/highwaymaintenancerenewal

– news release from Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

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