A recent bout of heavy snowfall in the North Okanagan-Shuswap proved to be a challenge for the region’s highways contractor.
Several collisions occurred in the Shuswap on Highway 1 during a snowstorm on Tuesday, Nov. 10. In one incident, police reported a semi driver lost control, the truck jack-knifed and went off the road between Salmon Arm and Blind Bay. No injuries were reported.
Regarding snow clearing and maintenance of the highway on that day, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said its contractor for the region, AIM Roads, was found to be in compliance with contract requirements. However, that wasn’t the case for side roads.
“Due to the focus on numbered and high-volume routes,” the ministry commented, “there were some lower volume side roads that were identified by AIM Roads as being out of contract specifications.”
Police said road conditions were a factor in a fatal collision that occurred east of Salmon Arm on Highway 1 on Oct. 26. Regarding the late October snow event, the ministry said it found AIM Roads to be in compliance with contract requirements.
When the contractor is not meeting expectations, the ministry can issue a non-conformance report. When this is done, the contractor is required to correct any issues and create an action plan to address the issues in the future.
Examples of non-conformance include: when maximum snowfall accumulations are exceeded, and when response times for restoring traction are not being met.
“We also look to the contractor to proactively identify their own challenges and provide us with the steps they are taking to mitigate the issues, as was the case in the November 10th snowfall event,” stated the ministry.
The ministry said it works closely with AIM Roads to resolve non-conformance issues, and ensure the contractor is meeting the maintenance contract requirements.
“We encourage people with safety concerns regarding road conditions in their area to contact their local maintenance contractor,” said the ministry.
The ministry reminds drivers to use the appropriate winter tires, drive to conditions and to check DriveBC for the most up-to-date highway travel information before heading out in winter driving conditions.