Emergency Info

Timely and behind the scenes information around incident response and events impacting travel.

See the Road to Flood Recovery in South Peace

See the Road to Flood Recovery in South Peace

When severe flooding caused by heavy rains wiped out several sections of highway and side road in Northern BC, crews and heavy equipment were quick to respond. The Peace Region flooding began June 15, impacting 186 sites on six numbered highways (97 South, 2 at Dawson Creek, 29 South, 29 North, 52 North) and 40 side roads. There was serious devastation to infrastructure, homes and other personal property. But by noon on June 23, all six highways and 21...

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Vulcan Logic and the Next Generation of BC Highway Barrier

Last fall, we replaced a section of Highway 19 concrete median barrier with an emergency access gate – also known as a Vulcan Barrier (please excuse any ensuing Star Trek jokes) – the first on Vancouver Island highways (Spock would be so proud!). Other types of emergency gates can be found in some parts of the province, such as Kelowna and the Alex Fraser Bridge in Delta. Why a gate? When an incident closes a BC highway, redirecting traffic...

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What it’s Like to Watch an Avalanche from a Helicopter

For most people, avalanches incite terror (for good reason!), and should be avoided at all times. But what is true for backcountry enthusiasts doesn’t apply to our ministry avalanche technicians. For them, uniting snow and gravity is a way of life – performed from a safe distance in the name of highway safety. Our crews recently captured video footage of two methods of avalanche control at separate ends of the province: Bear Pass and Kootenay Pass. And it’s pretty...

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Seismic Sensors & BC HighwayCams Team Up for Quake Safety

Question: What do some BC HighwayCams and seismic sensors have in common? Answer: A shared power source, a dedicated team of ministry staff and a great outcome to boot! That’s because our webcam crew and seismic engineers are teaming up to expand the BC Strong Motion Network by installing seismic sensors inside BC HighwayCam power boxes and using the power on hand to run them. These “tag team” sensors are part of a larger, provincial Strong Motion Network (SMN),...

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RAW Video: Pemberton Portage Road Mudslide

UPDATE Sept 24, 9 a.m.: The Pemberton Portage Road is now open to two lanes of traffic. Here is initial video footage of the mudslide that closed Pemberton Portage Road, 25 km north of Pemberton, on Sunday (Sept 20). As you can see, there is a lot of debris. About 200-300 metres of road is covered, and it’s between two and four metres deep. Three large BC Hydro transmission towers and a small distribution line, along with CN rail...

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Three Ways We are Working to Protect BC Highways from Climate Change

BC climate change protection

It’s no secret. Extreme weather is on the rise as a result of global climate change. What impacts will climate change have on our transportation infrastructure? Expect an increase in dramatic weather events like: coastal storm surges, extreme precipitation events and an increase in higher than normal temperatures. Across BC, there are thousands of bridges allowing motorists to travel over our many lakes, rivers and streams. Our roadways also have countless culverts to pass water safely and prevent flood...

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What Happens After a Rock Hits a BC Highway

Geo Assess Engineers

Rockfalls tend to happen more often in spring, when slopes above highways can be affected by changing temperatures and increased rainfall. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Rockwork Program uses a variety of techniques to keep rock and debris off highways. But rockfalls are a natural process and cannot always be prevented. In those cases, the ministry and its maintenance contractors spring into action to ensure the highway is cleared and safe for travellers. Reporting a Rockfall Maintenance Contractors...

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Can You Guess the BC Highway Mountain Pass Word Scramble?

Can You Guess the BC Highway Mountain Pass Word Scramble?

Mountain passes have always posed special challenges for engineers and travellers – ever since we started blazing foot trails, carving out wagon roads, and ultimately laying down highways. But while steep grades and fast-changing weather conditions demand extra caution, mountain passes give us access to some of the most beautiful scenery in the province. There are more than 50 mountain passes in BC, many of them natural landmarks from our favourite road trips. We thought it would be fun...

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Behind the Scenes: Hanging From a Rock Face for Avalanche Safety

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Avalanche and Weather Program is changing the landscape of avalanche control in Canada. Dropping explosives from a helicopter has traditionally been our weapon of choice for triggering controlled avalanches. But some challenging terrain on Yellowhead Highway 16, between Terrace and Prince Rupert, has compelled our avalanche team to try harnessing snow and ice rather than letting it loose. In fall 2014, crews completed Canada’s second ever avalanche fencing installation at the 35 Mile...

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Only You Can Prevent Roadside Wildfires

BC wildfire

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure works around the clock with safety in mind, but we need your help with something. Could you butt out? You heard us right, we need you to put that cigarette butt out properly when you are finished smoking. Warmer temperatures may mean fun in the sun for you, but they also mean higher fire hazard ratings across the province and cigarette carelessness is the key culprit in many of the wildfires that occur...

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