VSA Highway Maintenance has provided a copy of the minutes from their Pre-Winter Stakeholder Meeting held on October 21, 2015, in Merritt, as an update for BCTA members operating in the area.
Issues around chain up generated the following comments in the round table discussion:
After chaining up at Zopkios southbound, there is no safe place to take chains off. Drivers would like to see flaggers in the slow lane to protect drivers who are chaining off down below.
Richard Enns, VSA Senior Road Foreman, noted that VSA does everything to minimize the need for chain up. The majority of drivers follow the rules and have no problems; however, all it takes is one truck to go up the hill without chains, spin out and block the entire highway.
Other discussion included the following:
“Variable speed signs” will be appearing from Mine Creek to south of the [Great Bear] Snowshed as part of a BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure pilot program. These signs use sensors to identify traction, speeds and temperatures, calculate what the highway speed should be and change the speed limit signs automatically. This technology has been tested extensively in North America and proven to work.
The Pacific Northwest Snowfighters Report on Corrosion shows that brine is less corrosive than other chlorides used on roads, as is beet juice. VSA is also using much less abrasive on the roads, significantly cutting down on smashed windshields and vehicle damage due to aggregate on the road.
Although “tire socks” or “snow socks” are now approved for use in BC, there are pros and cons to the sock; e.g., the sock does not take to spinning and therefore would not work on Snowshed Hill, and this is cause for concern.
Thanks to VSA for sharing this information with members.
Note: Attendees at the meeting included representatives from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Environment, BC Ambulance Services, the RCMP, towing companies, traffic control, the Western Professional Truckers Association, Recreation and Trails BC, and one trucking company, in addition to VSA staff. The comments and concerns noted in the minutes reflect a diversity of views.
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