Field Services: Outstanding Supervision Specialists

Project supervisors for BC Highway and bridge projects
The Field Services Gang

Question: What is 115 people strong and has over 2,300 years of experience?
Answer: BC Provincial Field Services

Coordinating the epic amount of the construction work we do here in the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure requires a special team of individuals to guide and supervise that work as it happens in the field. Those special men and women belong to Provincial Field Services and are responsible for the supervision, technical consultation and direct field administration of grading, paving and sealcoating works throughout the province. It’s an enormous job and this team is up to the challenge.

The Provincial Field Services main office is located in Kamloops, near the heart of the province and acts as a hub for the ministry’s construction activity across BC Field Services staff is spread out across the province in order to supervise projects as they ‘roll out’. They ensure the construction delivered meets the ministry’s standards and specifications as outlined in the contract documents.

Many of the men and women who work in Field Services have built their knowledge and expertise through their extensive experience in the field. Nearly 80 per cent of all Field Services staff started their careers on the ground level, being mentored and developed by those that did the same before them. It’s all about the transfer of knowledge and sharing experience.

Many team members work experience dates back to the construction of the three phases of the Coquihalla, a significant project delivered in the mid 1980s. Field Services works closely with technical schools as part of the ministry’s Technical Entry Level Program (TELP) to build the Field Services team for the future. No matter what their work history, anyone who works in this branch will tell you that every day brings variety and challenges. Construction sites can be found in all areas of the province, from the busy corridors of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, to the excitement of breaking new ground on the Winfield to Oyama project – even the rehabilitation and expansion projects in support of the Peace oil and gas initiatives fall under their watchful eye.

In addition to the supervision of construction projects across the province, members of Field Services also connect with industry stakeholders, like BC Roadbuilders and the Consulting Engineers of BC, set standards in construction language and performance management, and offer other complementary services, like bridge construction support and project debriefings throughout the year.

So, the next time you see a project in progress, look for our ministry representatives from Field Services, and when you do, you will know they are out there, doing what they love. The successful projects this team delivers is due to the incredible passion and dedication of its people, and that is simply amazing!

Page 1 of 2 comments on “Field Services: Outstanding Supervision Specialists”

Leave a Reply to Brant Cancel reply

  1. Hi
    I was wonder how to submit a request for highway shoulder improvements on highway 6 ew between box lake and Hills
    At present it is very unsafe for cyclists
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Brant,

      At this time, this section of shoulder on Highway 6, from Box Lake to Hills, has not been swept to remove the winter sand accumulations from this past season. Our maintenance standards have a June 15 deadline for completion of sweeping the highway in this area. Sweeping has already begun, and you may have noticed it has taken place in the urban areas of New Denver and Kaslo, among other high-priority areas. When prioritizing sweeping work, the maintenance contractor takes into account the impact to pedestrians, cyclists, and visibility for drivers. They are on track to complete all sweeping before June 15, so it won’t be too long before the grit is off all road and shoulders.

      The condition of the pavement varies on the shoulder on the section from Box Lake to Hills. This section of highway shoulder is wider than in many other area highways, averaging over 1 metre of separation from the white line. There are geographic constraints that limit wider shoulders such as steep slopes along the long lakes in the surrounding area highways. This shoulder does have some deficiencies like cracking and the potholes that follow. We are currently in the season where the frost is coming out and the pavement condition is more fragile that other times of the year. Ministry staff work closely with the maintenance contractor to repair and prioritize issues. For instance, patching has taken place on the travelled lanes and shoulder in the Summit Lake area. Shoulder snow has been pushed back by grading to the point where the melt will drain away from the shoulder, effectively drying out the pavement and underlying materials to increase their longevity.

      Cyclists are legally permitted to ride in the travelled lane of the road. We know that some cyclists feel safer when they cycle on the shoulder. Until we do a resurfacing project in the area, we recommend that cyclists (and their bikes) be ready to accommodate the changing conditions that sometimes exist on shoulders (In addition to winter sand, shoulders may also have litter, vehicle and tire parts). We recommend bicycle tires that are wide enough to adjust to some of the hazards, and that cyclists pay special attention to other hazards that occur like wildlife, fallen rocks, vegetation, branches.

      Our ministry wants to support cyclists (and other modes of active transportation) and we are continually working our way to accommodate active transportation on our roads. Unfortunately, a lot of our highways were built in the 1950s when there wasn’t a lot of thought given to additional width for cyclists/pedestrians. As we resurface highways, we will do our best to improve on widening and resurfacing shoulders wherever we can, given the lay of the land and working within our highway right of way. If you have any questions or further concerns, please reach out to Alex O’Brien the area manager for the Nakusp and New Denver areas. She can be reached at Alex.OBrien@gov.bc.ca

      Reply