Lakes District Maintenance (LDM), headquartered in Burns Lake, has had its road maintenance contract for the Stikine District renewed for another 10 years.
That service area 28 contract came into effect on Aug. 1 and has an option for a five-year extension, according to a Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure press release.
It includes the roadways for Atlin, Cassiar and Dease Lake, as well as Highways 2 and 37.
The dollar value of the contract would be released in the fall.
LDM’s contract was among more than a dozen renewed for another decade across British Columbia over the last few months.
LDM also holds the contracts for service areas 20 (Robson) and 24 (Lakes). The Robson contract lasts until 2021 and the Lakes until 2028.
The Smithers-based Billabong Road & Bridge Maintenance has held the service area 25 (Bulkley-Nass) contract since 2004 but the recipient of the new contract, which starts after Sept. 30 has not yet been announced, a Ministry of Transportation spokesperson told Lakes District News.
Many of the newly renewed contracts have higher standards than before, including a requirement to return Class A highways – such as Highway 16 – to “bare pavement” within 24 hours of a snow storm. The previous standard was 48 hours at pavement temperatures of -9C or warmer.
Other requirements are that patrols have to be done every 90 minutes on Class A highways, up from the previous four hours; and that patrols happen every four hours when a weather event is forecasted, up from 24 hours.
However, LDM’s contract for the Lakes District was already subject to those stipulations since the summer of 2018, the Ministry of Transportation confirmed. The newer standards took effect for the Stikine District contract on Aug. 1.
The province 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.
The Transportation Ministry has an online satisfaction survey where B.C. residents can select their home region and rate the performance of summer and winter maintenance, line markings, traffic management in construction zones, inland ferries, commercial vehicle enforcement and DriveBC information.
– with files from Tom Fletcher