Mainroad Lower Mainland Contracting is preparing for another winter of highway maintenance. (File)

Lower Mainland highway crews prepare for a winter of heavy rain, wind

Mainroad Group gets ready for predicted ‘El Nino’ winter

As the days grow shorter and the weather becomes colder, crews are preparing to keep the Lower Mainland’s highways safe for winter driving.

Mainroad Group, the company contracted to maintain provincial highways in the Lower Mainland, is responsible for 1,430 km of provincial highway lanes.

General manager Darren Ell said an “El Nino” winter is forecasted this year, so “we’re not expecting as much freezing or snow conditions as we have in the last few years.” However, as anything is possible, crews will remain ready around the clock to “tackle those conditions as they occur.”

A warmer winter season brings with it other risks, such as heavy rainfall and high wind conditions. Mainroad crews will be monitoring drainage systems to ensure water is flowing off the highway, and checking on areas where trees may be more prone to wind damage in order to clean up vegetation as it comes down.

If a motorist sees a hazard on a provincial highway, they can call Mainroad’s 24/7 communication office at 604-271-0337 to report it to maintenance crews.

Should snow and freezing rain come despite predictions, Mainroad is well-stocked. Among the four separate salt depots they hold in the Lower Mainland, they have 2,000 tonnes of salt stored. Ell added that, should it come to it, their supplier has an additional 60,000 tonnes set aside. “We’ve never had salt issues in the past,” he said.

This year, Mainroad has brought back the tow-plow, which is pulled behind a standard plow truck. It’s much more effective than the standard machine, Ell explained. A standard plow clears 3/4 of a lane, and a tow-plow can clear two lanes of traffic at once.

Ell also warned motorists to expect more echelon plowing — when several plows clear the highway in a staggered line — as it allows crews to clear more lanes with less vehicles, making it more efficient. Ell reminded drivers to “be patient” and to not attempt to pass the plows.

“Let the plow do its job,” he said. “Stay back.”

Tips on sharing the road with snow plows:

  • Maintain a safe following distance. Remember that snow plows have limited visibility — operators can’t see directly behind their vehicles.
  • If two or more snow plows are clearing multiple lanes on a highway, do not try to pass. When you try to pass, you are putting yourself, the plow operators and other vehicles on the road at risk.
  • Remember that the road in front of the plow hasn’t been plowed yet. Slow down and be patient. When it is safe to do so, the snow plow will pull over and let you pass.

For more safety tips on winter driving, motorists can go to shiftintowinter.ca.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser Health Authority closed Valhalla Distribution/MSJ Distribution in Delta on Oct. 3, 2020 after 23 employees at the facility tested positive for COVID-19. (Google Maps screenshot)
Fraser Health says outbreaks over at Surrey meat-processing facility, Delta distribution centre

Health authority says it worked with facilities ‘to strengthen their COVID-19 mitigation strategies’

Students at Janice Churchill Elementary count the ballots following the school election on Oct. 26, 2018. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Local Student Vote mirrors Surrey’s election results

Nearly 8,000 students voted in mock election

Thomas Dawson Peacock
Surrey man, 32, charged with sexual interference

Incidents alleged to have happened in Surrey and Abbotsford

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Five Surrey schools report COVID-19 exposures, with another at Sullivan Heights

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

This Halloween display by a Maple Ridge family, seen here Oct. 31 in the 23600 block of 119 Avenue, has been the target of social media complaints that it is racially insensitive. (Black Press Media)
Halloween gallows display by B.C. family slammed as racially insensitive by social media critics

Refers to medieval times, not Black lynchings, says man responsible

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

Hay bales can be donated to Critter Care Wildlife Society. (Critter Care/Special to The Star)
Straw bales used for Halloween decor can be donated to Critter Care Wildlife Society

Langley animal facility said they are always need in of fresh bedding

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

The Excelsior 4 are set to make their second court appearance in Abbotsford on Monday (Nov. 2). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
‘Excelsior 4’: Animal activists set to enter not guilty plea in Abbotsford hog farm case

Animal rights activists expected to plead not guilty to charges, protest for Vancouver scheduled

Most Read