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 current contract is held by Emcon Service Inc., which had a 10-year term, and then received a five-year extension.
“For a couple of years, we as directors of the (Comox Valley) Regional District have been receiving a lot of complaints from our public,” explained CVRD Area B director Rod Nichol.
“There’s no question – I met with … Claire Trevena (Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure). She obviously has listened; now we have a new contract. I’m hoping we get to meet with the management. I’ll let them know where the concerns are and what they are and hopefully, the new company will listen.”
“The public has been heard this time for once.”
CVRD Area C Director Edwin Grieve said he understands there is a balance between infrastructure expectations and budget, but noted elected officials have a capital replacement plan for all assets.
“What we’re seeing in the rural areas is that degradation of the service of the roads and the ditches and culverts. By turning your back on regular maintenance, the province is setting themselves up for billions of dollars worth of work later.”
Grieve added he is hopeful the new contractor will be more proactive in fixing problems while they are still minor, as he “constantly” receives complaints from his constituents.
“We can always hide behind the fact that as electoral areas, that it is not our service, that roads are the purview of the province. But that doesn’t hold too much water when it comes to the constituents. You can talk until you’re blue in the face that you can’t call up the snowplow guy. We’re hopeful they’ll be some kind of quality control that seemed to be lacking for the last 10 years.”