Mainroad South Island Contracting and municipal contractors are working to keep the roads clear (File photo)

Mainroad South Island Contracting and municipal contractors are working to keep the roads clear (File photo)

80,000 litres of brine, 45 plows used to de-ice roads Sunday night

Provincial and municipal contractors work to keep roads clear of snow

Several contractors are working throughout the Capital Region to get the roads clear of ice and snow.

Last night alone, Mainroad South Island Contracting – which is responsible for provincial roads and highways – used 80,000 litres of brine on the roads in their Langford region, which stretches from Highway 14 (West Coast Road) and Highway 17 (Patricia Bay Highway) down to Uptown shopping centre. The brine alone totalled over $26,000.

“We’re trying to keep on top of it, but it’s a bit of a battle,” said Chris Cowley, operations manager at Mainroad.

Mainroad is responsible for ministry roads and numbered highways south of Ladysmith, as well as the Gulf Islands, totalling over 3,600 km of roads.

ALSO READ: More than 65 people slept at Victoria International Airport

ALSO READ: Police continue to advise Greater Victoria drivers to avoid travel unless necessary

Cowley said that roads are prioritized in an A-F scale, with A roads representing main highways, such as the Malahat, B roads being major bus routes, and D roads common side roads, such as Shawnigan Lake Road or roads on the Gulf Islands.

“Technically, we have 21-days to clean up a D-class road, but people have better expectations than that and we try to meet those expectations,” Cowley said.

“A-class roads are usually pretty quick; in the event last night our guys had all the A’s done in a few hours.”

Mainroad has 40 trucks covering the jobs today as well as a few graders and tractors to help along.

In an average year, they use 4.5 million litres of brine to keep the roads safer, with brine that is produced in Cobble Hill and Duncan. Mainroad also uses salt crystals and sand to add more traction to roads.

While snow isn’t easy, Cowley noted that one of the largest safety threats to snowplow operators is other drivers who don’t know about snowplow etiquette, including the legal mandate that they don’t pass snowplows.

ALSO READ: Snow day for students in Greater Victoria; another storm to come

ALSO READ: Island too warm to ‘beet’ the cold

“It’s not a common sight in this part of the world, and people don’t know what to do,” Cowley said, “The maximum snowplow speed is 60 km per hour, but people don’t realize that the road in front of them is usually a lot worse than the road behind.”

Cowley said that impatient drivers often spin out trying to pass a plow, or hit the plow’s undercarriage, causing further delays in the clean-up process.

Municipal roads are covered by each municipality.

In the City of Victoria, there are five large dump trucks with salters and plows, as well as two smaller trucks available to help clear the roads.

Crews also use bobcats with brooms and buckets for some parts of the city, as well as a radial broom to clear the Johnson Street Bridge walkway and a five-tonne truck with a front blade to clear the car deck of the bridge, and its surrounding side streets.

So far the City of Victoria has spent $25,000 to clear snow in 2019.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Snow

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

Just Posted

Penelope the cat showed up safe and sound at her owner’s porch after an unusual trip through the news cycle in recent weeks. (Photo courtesy of Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing)
Penelope, cat and friend of the Victoria HarbourCats, returns home safe

The cat had an after an unusual trip through the news cycle in recent weeks

Saanich police detectives are investigating a reported sexual assault that occurred near Glanford Park on the evening of Dec. 29, 2020 and have shared an artist’s rendering of the individual. (Image via Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers)
Saanich police release sketch of suspect sought in December sexual assault

Anyone with information asked to contact detectives, Crime Stoppers

Sharon McNeill (right) was among the first batch of residents to pick up free seeds and seedlings from Ali Rivers, Central Saanich’s climate action specialist, during Thursday’s Seed Giveaway. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Central Saanich plants seeds in the fight against climate change

Seed Giveaway promotes environmental stewardship

Habitat Acquisition Trust has received provincial funding to help restore Garry oak ecosystems on southern Vancouver Island. (Photo by Jeremy da Silva)
Central Saanich park among sites for local Garry oak restoration projects

Habitat Acquisition Trust received $140,000 in funding for 12 projects

The Compost Education Centre is hosting its annual spring plant sale on May 8 at 1216 North Park St. Physical distancing protocols will be in effect during the sale, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Black Press Media file photo)
This weekend: Tenth annual spring plant sale hosted by Victoria Compost Education Centre

The non-profit event Saturday, May 8 will feature numerous varieties of plants, live music

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read