Road Maintenance

Updates and background on the work we do to maintain and rehab BC bridges and highways during the spring, summer and fall.

Winter Safety on Alex Fraser and Port Mann Bridges Explained

Rope Access Technician on Port Mann Bridge

Winter doesn’t mess with the Lower Mainland all too often. But when it does, our maintenance efforts go beyond the standard plowing and sanding of highways. Our attention is also drawn skyward to the cables on the Alex Fraser Bridge and Port Mann Bridge. Snow and ice can build up around the cables that support the bridges, becoming a safety hazard to traffic below if left to freeze, melt and potentially fall. To combat the risk, we developed cable...

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Everything You Need to Know About Travel Advisories on BC Highways

Ministry staff and our highway maintenance contractors work around the clock to keep travellers on BC highways moving safely, but sometimes extreme weather (or other emergency conditions) create special circumstances that can pose challenges for motorists.  When that happens we place a specific travel advisory on DriveBC to help bring attention to the event and help travellers make better plans based on those conditions. We take a number of factors into consideration when we post a travel advisory, such...

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Share and Share Alike – Federal Sections on Provincial Highways

A strange thing happens when you’re travelling BC’s highways and you head through Rogers Pass, drive a section of Highway 93, cruise alongside Long Beach near Tofino, or travel Highway 97, 133 kilometres north of Dawson Creek. You see, the ground under your tires changes… You may think that’s provincially owned and operated road beneath you…but it’s not. These stretches of road are owned and operated by the federal government’s Parks Canada Agency, which has a long involvement with the...

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What Happens After a Washout Hits a Highway

washout and recovery

Everybody loves spring. I mean, what’s not to like about balmy afternoons and BC in bloom? But as wonderful as spring can be, it also has a wild side (called freshet), as rapidly melting snowpack can oversaturate the ground supporting and surrounding roads, causing washouts. Washout damage often appears devastating – just look at the washout that closed Highway 33 south of Kelowna in April 2018 (above). It looked like it could take weeks to make it safe for...

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5 Ways We Tackle Spring Cleaning on BC Highways

It’s been a long winter, and the white stuff is still on the ground in some parts of the province. But take heart! Spring is finally here, and so comes a little “housekeeping” to keep things in order. What do you include in your spring cleaning checklist? Windows? Closets? Garage? Behind the bed? Under the stove? Well, we also have a list of to-do’s, but it looks a little different than yours. Here are a few things on our...

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The Problem of Perennial Pothole Patching on BC Highways

Potholes

It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the potholes are starting to show. What is it about this season that makes potholes so common, and how do we deal with the problem of perennial pothole patching? Let’s start from the ground up to get you the answers. How Potholes Form Our roads are built in layers – a base of earth and gravel, topped with asphalt – an excellent material for...

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9 Fabulous Bridge Photos from TranBC Flickr

Every picture tells a story, and at the foundation of every bridge there is a saga. Our Flickr collection of photos and videos tells many stories – there are albums about bridge and highway projects, awards, educational events and community projects. We went through our albums and picked out some of the best bridge photos to share with you for National Engineering and Geoscience Month. Click on each heading below, and you’ll be transported to a Flickr album, for...

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New Tool Shines a Light on Line Paint Brightness

Able to record 400 measurements per second into an internal computer and function wirelessly, a state of the art retroreflectometer is our newest tool for testing line paint performance.

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