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

Organizer, Victoria councillor, VicPD talk about upcoming rally for Black lives

‘It’s a simple ask’: Peace rally for Black lives organizer asks people to listen

George Floyd mural appears on Victoria street

Victoria artist Paul Archer painted the mural outside his shop on Fort Street

PHOTOS: Dozens show up to rebuild vandalized Victoria people-less protest

Chalk messages of support surround the fountain in Centennial Square

Parkland grads mark end to high school in virtual ceremony

North Saanich grads pre-tape graduation ceremony days before school officially reopened

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Most Read