The provincial transportation ministry is working closely with new road contractor AIM, following local complaints that small communities are under served and highways are not cleared in time.
In response to questions from The Spotlight the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure provided the following statement in an email:
“Highway maintenance is one of the most important services we provide. Safety is our top priority.
The southern interior region has experienced significant amounts of heavy, wet snowfall over the past several weeks. Early weather station data indicates that snowfall in December and so far in January is over 200 per cent of the 10 year average.
AIM has assured the ministry that they have the graders, plows and other equipment in place to meet their requirements and keep roads in the safest possible condition for people travelling through the south Okanagan during winter weather events.
Ministry staff have been monitoring AIM’s response to the winter storm events and are thoroughly auditing the contractor’s recent activity to ensure their effectiveness in meeting the contract requirements, as well as potential ways to improve their performance.
Maintenance contractors are also required to keep and maintain records and to have a quality control and a quality assurance program to demonstrate compliance.
We are aware of the challenges experienced in the South Okanagan during heavy snowfall events, and ministry staff have been working closely with AIM to address these challenges and ensure they are improving their response in this area.”
Last week an AIM spokesperson told The Spotlight the company is still down two plow trucks for the region. Last month it was reported that some rural access routes, including Coalmont Road, were unplowed for days following a significant snowfall.
AIM was awarded a 10-year roads maintenance contract for the area in 2018, and took over from Argo in the spring of 2019.
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