Road Maintenance

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

Why is Line Painting a Challenge on the Coquihalla?

Spring has sprung (sorta) across B.C., which means our maintenance contractors are out on our highways, shifting from winter maintenance to warmer weather activities like sweeping, paving, mowing and brushing. Our line marking contractors are also gearing up for a busy season, ready to hit the highway as soon as they can. Weather is definitely a factor in getting the job done, and one of the most challenging stretches, we’re sure you can imagine, is Highway 5 aka the...

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A Look Behind the Scenes at Winter Maintenance in B.C.

When the snow starts falling, the plows hit the roads. Sounds like it could almost be a country song, but it’s also the theme of our latest video, which was shot on location in the east Kootenays this winter with the help of our local maintenance contractor, Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting. We touch on a lot of topics in this one, like which streets get plowing priority, how often contractors plow (spoiler: they’re plowing 24/7, if required) and the...

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Getting a Grip on Some Slippery Road Safety Questions

Getting a Grip on Some Slippery Road Safety Questions

We received a couple of questions recently about traffic and traction. This isn’t the typical type of traction query we get this time of year (most of those are focused around winter tires and chains). To paraphrase, the first question went something like this: With lots of use, do paved roads get more slippery over time? It’s an interesting question, and one that intuitively makes sense. If you have a lot of traffic travelling a road, all that friction...

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Winter Driving in the East Kootenays

Winter Driving in the East Kootenays

If you live in or travel through the East Kootenays, you know what the weather and the roads have been like lately. If you haven’t been through there in the last couple of weeks, well, here’s a quick recap of what you missed out on: winter driving conditions. Everywhere. Now this area certainly isn’t any stranger to winter. The snow can fall thick and fast, and quick weather changes can mean dramatically different road conditions from one kilometre to...

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A Bit of BC History: Jet-Setters in Winter Maintenance

A Bit of BC History: Jet-Setters in Winter Maintenance

Have a good look at the picture below. It’s a shot of a snow plow on Kootenay Pass on Highway 3 between Creston and Salmo in the mid-sixties. Notice anything unusual? Probably not, because what makes this plow so unique isn’t immediately obvious. So here’s a hint. Ever hear of a Pratt and Whitney? They manufacture jet engines. Getting visions of the Batmobile rocketing down the road, a blast of flame jetting out the back of the car? Well,...

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Keeping You Safe: A Closer Look at Bridge Inspections

Keeping You Safe: A Closer Look at Bridge Inspections

There’s been a lot of interest recently about our bridges and how they’re inspected. Here’s the scoop. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure manages an inventory of 2,700 bridges plus concession* bridges throughout the province. Sounds like a lot, but here’s a visual for you to put it in perspective. Take those bridges, put them end to end and they’d stretch over 150 kilometres. That’s like driving from Penticton to Merritt! So, how do we make sure so many...

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Micro Surfacing the Malahat: Up Close and Personal

Micro Surfacing the Malahat: Up Close and Personal

During the Malahat Safety Improvements project we have had some questions about the process we used to pave the corridor. It is called Micro Surfacing and we asked Project Manager Darren Englund to tell us a little bit more about it, so that we, in turn, could bring you up to speed on the subject. TranBC: Hi Darren, could you tell us what Micro Surfacing is? Darren: Micro Surfacing is a cold-mix paving system that begins as a mixture...

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Behind the Scenes with 6 Cone Zone Workers

We often urge people to respect roadside work zones (also known as Cone Zones), especially when summer highway construction season ramps up. But as much as we support worker safety, it’s the workers themselves who have the strongest messages to share. They’re the ones who have experienced what can happen when drivers lose focus. They’ve been injured, or know a colleague who has. They have the firsthand stories to tell – powerful perspectives on what it’s like to have...

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Hurley River Road Cleared for Your Outdoor Getaway

Some high mountain roads leading to the most alluring outdoor recreational havens can be a challenge for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to access and maintain, especially in the spring when demand for an outdoor getaway is as high as the lingering winter snowpack. That was the case this year for those cabin-goers in the Lower Mainland wondering if they would have direct access to the Bridge River Valley region north of Pemberton. The short answer: Yes! The...

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Bridge Inspections Truck on for Road Safety

It takes a steady truck with a long arm to ensure British Columbia bridges stay shipshape for your safe crossings. The bridge inspection truck is one of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s coolest tools. What makes it so cool? The truck’s arm, or crane, is capable of reaching about 14 metres above bridges (for checking parts such as suspension cables) and 23 metres below bridges (for inspecting parts such as bearings and bolts). “The bridge inspection truck is...

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