Improved maintenance standards for B.C.’s Howe Sound and North Shore crossings
A new contract has been awarded for Howe Sound Service Area 04, requiring higher standards and quicker responses to stalled vehicles on the Lions Gate and Ironworkers’ Memorial bridges.
“The recently released Integrated North Shore Transportation Planning Project report clearly highlights the need for expedited incident clearing measures,” said Bowinn Ma, MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale, on behalf of Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Having additional hours for tow trucks stationed at the Lions Gate and Ironworkers’ Memorial bridges means that these vital North Shore crossings can be put back into service more quickly following disruptive vehicle incidents.”
More than 185,000 vehicles travel on these two bridges every day. With these high volumes, even a minor accident can quickly cause long traffic lineups. New requirements coming into effect in November 2018 will increase standby hours and identify the type of tow trucks stationed at both crossings, ensuring a large wrecker is available for removing commercial vehicles and buses. These measures will help clear vehicles faster, so people spend less time stuck in traffic when there is a flat tire, fender bender or other minor incident.
The contract for Howe Sound Service Area 04 was awarded to Miller Capilano Highway Services Ltd. It has a 10-year term with an optional five-year extension, and begins on Nov. 1, the day after the current contract expires.
This service area includes Highway 1 from the south side of Ironworkers’ Memorial Bridge to Horseshoe Bay, Highway 99 in Stanley Park to the junction with Highway 1, as well as Taylor Way, Cypress Bowl Road and Mt. Seymour Parkway. The maintenance contract also covers Highway 99 from Function Junction to the Duffey Lake summit and side roads in Pemberton.
For all service areas throughout the province, the new maintenance contracts require higher standards and a more proactive approach to severe weather. Some of the biggest improvements include:
• Returning Class A highways to bare pavement within 24 hours of a winter eather event at temperatures of -9 degrees or warmer, when de-icing chemical use is safe and effective. The previous standard was 48 hours.
• When a weather event is forecasted, increase patrol frequency to four hours instead of 24.
• Increase patrol frequency to every 90 minutes on Class A highways during a winter storm. The previous standard was four hours.
Of the 28 maintenance contracts in B.C., 26 are being tendered and awarded in 2018 and 2019 through a staggered, open-bidding process.
For more information on the ministry’s highway maintenance contract renewal program, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/highwaymaintenancerenewal.
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