‘Probably the worst I’ve seen in the last 10 years’: Frustration grows over Hwy 37 road conditions

Highway is under a DriveBC advisory for extremely slippery conditions and compact ice

A travel advisory has been in effect due to compact ice and slippery conditions for nearly a week prompting social media outrage. (Elizabeth Mac Donald/Twitter)

A travel advisory has been in effect due to compact ice and slippery conditions for nearly a week prompting social media outrage. (Elizabeth Mac Donald/Twitter)

Conditions over the last week have been treacherous along Highway 37 between Terrace and Kitimat, according to Facebook users and Skeena MLA Ellis Ross.

The busy highway that typically sees a significant number of commuters heading to work daily has been under a travel advisory for nearly a week, as of Jan. 6.

“I drive it almost every day I check out my office and Terrace and what’s happening and this is probably the worst I’ve seen in the last 10 years.” said Skeena MLA Ellis Ross.

Due to compact ice and extremely slippery conditions, DriveBC advises that people consider making alternate travel plans. For many, there is no alternative as the highway connects the two municipalities and gets people to work each day.

Outrage about the state of the road has been growing on social media and residents have been asking for answers as the ice build-up has remained on the road for five days. Facebook users urged each other to submit complaints to the contractor, Emil Anderson Maintenance. The company took over the contract to service the highway in 2020.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said the maintenance contractor is regularly patrolling the highway and sanding slippery sections, adding that the use of winter abrasives and de-icing treatments depend on factors like the temperature of the road and weather forecast.

Ross said that he contacted the ministry and was told the road conditions are due to the weather, and applying sand to the surface was not working.

“What they were trying to do with the contractor [is] they were trying to look at ways to actually sand the highway which wouldn’t work because sand just bounced off.”

Drivers are urged to continue to use caution while driving if they must travel, and Ross said he was happy to see drivers starting to slow down to accommodate the road conditions.

According to the ministry, the current conditions along Hwy 37 are expected to remain until temperatures rise, which could happen as soon as this weekend.

Emil Anderson Maintenance has not responded to Black Press Media requests for comment.

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