POUCE COUPE, B.C. – Highway maintenance in Service Area 21, which includes provincial roadways for Chetwynd, Dawson Creek and Tumbler Ridge and highways 29, 52 and 97 will now be the responsibility of Argo Road Maintenance.
The start of the contract for Argo’s highway maintenance comes into effect Aug. 1, 2019, the day after the existing contract expires. The agreement has a standard term of 10 years with an option for a five-year extension.
Argo is also the current highway maintenance contractor for Service Area 15 (Thompson), for which it assumed responsibility Oct. 1, 2018.
High standards and a more proactive approach are a requirement of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s maintenance contracts for all service areas especially when a severe weather event occurs.
Some improvements over the last contract include;
- increased communication with the public about rapidly changing road conditions during severe weather events and other incidents affecting travel on B.C. roads;
- returning Class A highways, like Highway 97, to bare pavement within 24 hours of a winter weather event, at -9 C or warmer (the previous standard was 48 hours at temperatures of -9 C or warmer);
- increasing patrol frequency to 90 minutes on a Class A highway during a winter storm (the previous standard was four hours);
- increasing the patrol frequency to four hours when a weather event is forecasted (the previous standard was 24 hours).
Twenty-six of the 28 maintenance contracts in the province have been tendered and will be awarded by the end of 2019 through a staggered open-bidding process.