Extra snow clearing for Highway 37 South

The Kitimat-Terrace highway should now be ready for big snowfalls like in November

The road and bridge contractor responsible for Hwy37 South is to put extra snowclearing equipment on Hwy37 South during periods of heavy accumulation.

The move by Nechako North Coast follows a build up of compact snow on the highway during the first heavy snowfall of the season Nov. 17-18 when approximately 60cm of snow descended upon the area.

Although Nechako Northcoast Construction maintains a regular fleet of equipment as part of its contract obligations with the provincial transportation ministry, it was caught short due to the volume of snow that fell within a short period of time.

“The Terrace and Kitimat areas saw the first heavy snowfall event of the season in mid-November, and our maintenance contractor was prepared and responded well. However, the nature of the storm did result in some difficult driving conditions during clean-up of the compact snow, ” said Dan Baker, the transportation ministry’s operations manager for the Skeena District.

“In preparation for future events, Nechako North Coast has identified two additional graders for rent in the Kitimat area, which we are expecting will result in a higher level of service during extreme weather events.”

Baker also noted that motorists should be prepared for winter driving and ensure their vehicles have proper winter tires.

He encouraged motorists to drive to weather conditions and to check the transportation ministry’s DriveBC website for up-to-date road conditions.

Kitimat mayor Phil Germuth, who brought up the issue of road conditions following the mid-November snowfall with local transportation ministry officials, said he was pleased extra equipment would be pressed into service when needed.

“We’ve always had good communication with the ministry,” he said.

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