Mainroad operations manager Dale Martin showing off a low-pro single truck. It’s used for clearing snow and carrying salt and sand - Cloe Logan photo

Winter preparation underway for mid-Island highways

Drivers reminded to ready vehicles for changing conditions

In anticipation of winter, Mainroad Contracting reminds drivers of hazardous conditions to come — and what they can do to adequately prepare.

The company, on a provincial maintenance contract, is responsible for maintaining the stretch of roadway covering Central Vancouver Island, approximately from Chemainus to Bowser. Also included are Gabriola and Lasqueti Island.

General manager of Mainroad, Rick Gill, said the company wants to get everyone engaged in the province’s “shift into winter” program, which includes Mainroad preparing their services and driver engagement.

“A big part of our program is anti-icing,” said Gill. “So we go through anywhere up to five million litres of brine a year, go through maybe three thousand tonnes of salt and four thousand tonnes of sand.”

One of the main messages from the company is the importance of snow plow safety. Drivers are reminded to give snow plows lots of space, never pass them and to always keep their head and tail lights on during snowy conditions.

Nov. 1 starts 24/7 coverage for the company. They use a forecaster that anticipates road conditions by giving them updates two or three times a day.

“Our biggest thing is that the public is safe, and our employees are safe,” said Gill.

READ MORE: Better road conditions coming to Vancouver Island

Other reminders to drivers include: turn on your head and tail lights during heavy snow or rain, even during the day; give your vehicle a check-up before winter; install four matched winter tires with the proper logo and equip your vehicle with a winter survival kit.

Mainroad has a 24-hour hotline (1-877-215-6006) that the public can use to report road and safety hazards.

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