FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Ministry of Transportation says that contractors that maintain highways in the Peace follow a set procedure when it comes to keeping roads driveable during inclement winter weather.
The Ministry’s Area Manager Andrew Barrett says that during snowstorms, road crews prioritise ploughing one good travel in each direction. After that, crews will then focus on sanding intersections, corners, and hills before laying sand down on the rest of the highway sections. During the overnight hours, crews will then look at also clearing off other roads including school bus routes ahead of classes during weekday mornings.
Barrett says that after roads are cleared, crews will continue to lay down sand for traction while also clearing as much of the compact snow from the highways while also ploughing shoulders to facilitate snow removal later in the winter.
When it comes to also laying down salt to get rid of any ice on the roads, Barrett says that crews only apply salt to the roads when the pavement temperature is at or above -7 degrees Celsius. He says that below that temperature, the salt doesn’t become effective as any melted ice will simply re-freeze during the overnight hours. He added that air temperature doesn’t always correlate to pavement temperature, as frozen ground can require much more time to warm up.