New highway maintenance contract for southern Vancouver Island expected to improve road standards. (File photo)

Emcon edges out Mainroad for contract to maintain south Vancouver Island roads

The 10-year contract starts Oct. 1

Plans are for improved road maintenance on the area’s highways just in time for the winter driving season.

A new maintenance contract was awarded for the service of provincial roadways between Victoria and Mt. Sicker Road in North Cowichan, west to Lake Cowichan and Port Renfrew, as well as the southern Gulf Islands that is expected to see improved standards and better highway conditions year-round.

The contract was awarded to Emcon Services Inc. through an open bidding process.

The contract has a 10-year term and an optional five-year extension.

It cames into effect on Oct. 1, the day after the existing contract expires.

Mainroad South Island Contracting is the existing contractor for the south Island, and the company has been the contractor in the area since 2004.

READ ALSO: Take a look at your tires; Winter driving regulations in effect

“While the loss of the … contract is obviously disappointing and indicative of a very competitive tender process, Mainroad crews were very proud to serve South Island communities,” said Peter Ashcroft, president and CEO for the Mainroad Group.

“We enjoyed the excellent relationships held with the Ministry (of Transporation and Infrastructure) and our stakeholders. Thank you for your support. We wish Emcon Services every success.”

The new maintenance contracts for all service areas in B.C. now require higher standards and a more proactive approach when a severe weather event occurs.

Some of the biggest improvements over the most recent contracts include increasing communication with the public about rapidly changing road conditions during severe weather events and other incidents affecting travel on B.C. roads, and returning winter Class A highways to bare pavement within 24 hours of a winter weather event, when the temperature is -9 C or warmer (the previous standard was 48 hours).

READ ALSO: New 650-metre skywalk to be built on the Malahat

The new contract will also see the increase of patrol frequency to 90 minutes on a Class A highway, such as the Malahat, during a winter storm (the previous standard was four hours); increasing the patrol frequency to four hours when a weather event is forecast (the previous standard was 24 hours); and requiring contractors to be more proactive prior to a winter weather event.

B.C. spends about $400 million per year to private contractors for highway maintenance, covering 47,000 km of highway and 2,800 bridges.

Their crews apply 750,000 tonnes of winter abrasives and 100,000 tonnes of salt each year.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich farm stands can stay open

Council amending bylaw to allow for temporary use permits

Study looks at feasibility of Vancouver Island abattoir

South Island Prosperity Partnership funds study looking at local meat processing

Royal B.C. Museum reopens in phases, some galleries remain closed to start summer

Victoria museum and archives open first galleries June 19

Greater Victoria’s first BC Cannabis Store could open at Saanich shopping centre

Store application for Uptown Shopping Centre headed for public hearing

MISSING: Victoria police on the lookout for woman last seen April 28

Leah Parker, 41, is described five-foot-five and about 140 pounds with brown/blonde hair, blue eyes

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

36 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario, Quebec care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Most Read