Lakes District Maintenance (File photo/Lakes District News)

Lakes District Maintenance wraps up winter operations

Operations manager urges people to drive carefully around roadside workers

Every year with winter, comes a range of cleaning and maintenance activities that Lakes District Maintenance Inc. (LDM) undertakes. And now that winter is behind us, the company has wrapped up its winter operations, said Cori Funk, Operations Manager.

“LDM has now wrapped up our winter activities and are now working on our spring cleaning. Sweeping roads, cleaning bridges, pothole repairs, etc.,” he said.

However, this past winter wasn’t as bad on the roads, and in fact the past couple of years the region experienced lower than average snowfall amounts, explained Funk.

“This past winter season was a strange one in terms of weather in our area. Overall, there was less than average snowfall and more thaw/freeze cycles than normal,” he said.

This year, just two weeks back, Burns Lake saw out-of-season snowfall, however, LDM was prepared for such inclement weather, assured Funk, adding that LDM maintained a supply of sand and salt year-round.

“Plows can also be attached quickly to attend to any inclement weather that may occur outside of the normal winter season,” he said.

The company is now busy sweeping highways and cleaning bridges to remove the sand that they put on the roads through the winter.

“For the most part road conditions are in fairly good condition. Highway 35 has more potholes occurring, but it is at that point in the asphalt life cycle and is being repaved this summer by MOTI,” he said. “Our graders are working hard to get gravel roads in good shape following the winter season but this is normal for this time of year.”

The company’s gravel-grading activities ensure a good driving surface. They will be grading some of the shoulders on the highway, and filling potholes on the highways this season.

Funk also noted that this past winter the company saw lesser than usual complaints about road maintenance.

“I think that this is in part due to the fact that there weren’t any extreme weather events and in part to a more aggressive approach to the use of anti-ice (salt brine) to pre-treat the highways prior to forecasted storms,” said Funk.

The company now has crews and traffic control personnel working on the roads on a regular basis and Funk wanted to remind people to pay attention to and respect work zone signs, slow down and move over when passing through work zones and help everyone get home to their families safely.

He added that hundreds of roadside work zones will be set up across B.C. this summer, and every day, tens of thousands of British Columbians worked alongside our roadways: first responders, tow truck operators, landscapers, flag people, road-maintenance crews and more.

“Roadside work is a dangerous job. Between 2012 and 2021, 12 roadside workers were killed and 221 were injured, and lost time from work as a result of being hit by a motor vehicle. The risks to roadside workers are more prevalent in the summer months as roadside work increases at this time of year and traffic levels typically rise,” he said. “Let’s work together to help ensure all workers return home safe to their families.”