FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The provincial government says that maintenance crews should be finished cleaning up debris from crack sealing work along the Alaska Highway by the end of the week and that ICBC will look at trying to recover the costs of any windshield claims that may have been caused by that debris.
In the past few weeks, workers have been sealing cracks along Highway 97 between the North Taylor Hill and the Mile 54 marker.
In order to allow the cracks to be sealed properly, YRB North Peace General Manager Chris Charbonneau explained that crews need to leave the gravel covering the tar for several days to ensure that vehicles don’t track the substance all over the roads or get it stuck to motorist’s tires.
Transportation Ministry spokesperson Danielle Pope said in an email late last week that the material that was used in the crack-sealing has now been cleared from the travel lanes, and that sweeping activities will continue around highway shoulders and islands.
Pope added that the Ministry is aware that the gravel is a concern for the public, and that cleanup work is anticipated to be complete by July 20th.
Several area residents were seen venting their frustrations about the gravel that was strewn all over the roads on local social media, especially after some claimed the gravel had damaged newly-repaired or replaced windshields.
When asked about whether motorists would be on the hook for any repairs that were directly caused by the gravel, spokesperson Liam Butler with the Ministry of the Attorney General, which is the Ministry responsible for ICBC, explained under ICBC’s comprehensive coverage, motorists no longer need to pay a deductible to have their windshield repaired.
However, the damaged windshield is deemed unsafe and not appropriate to repair, motorists will need to pay a deductible to have a replacement installed.
Butler said that ICBC will attempt to recover costs where possible from the contractor and that if ICBC is able to recover costs, the Crown Corporation will also attempt to recover the cost of deductibles for customers.