UPDATE: The article was changed to include quotes from the Ministry of Transportation.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Now that the winter weather has arrived in the Peace region, road conditions and maintenance are top of mind for residents.
According to Shelley Fulmes, with Argo Road Maintenance, they’ve been busy with working on the side roads, as that’s where ice has developed in the South Peace.
The sanding and grading of side roads are like a cycle, according to Fulmes.
“We go through, we sand everything, we grade and then it starts over again. Once you get through a block, you go to another one and then you start the beginning again, so it’s a never-ending cycle,” said Fulmes.
Fulmes says Argo is always patrolling the main highways to make sure they remain bare and dry. Argo is fully staffed at all times, according to Fulmes, and when it comes to big storms, like this past weekend, they usually hire other equipment, like graders, to get through the bulk of it.
She says patience from the public is key right now.
“Just be careful when you’re driving, we live in the north, and we’re doing the best we can. We’re on the roads, and our families are all on the roads as well. We are honestly doing the best we can and we just can’t be everywhere at once.”
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says maintenance contractors are always closely monitoring weather forecasts, and crews are ready for winter weather when storms arrive.
“Extreme wind and snow events that occur during winter in the Peace Region can include challenges like the formation of snowdrifts and the displacement of winter sand,” said the ministry.
“During extreme weather events, the ministry works with its maintenance contractors to have the appropriate levels of equipment and resources deployed in response. This may include extra shifts and calling in subcontractors and hired equipment operators where needed to support.”
The City of Fort St. John also released some winter tips on their Facebook, including driving according to the conditions and giving yourself extra time to get where you need to go.
The City also reminds residents that winter sand is available for residential use at the Public Works Building and downtown across from the Lido, and to bring a shovel and bucket.
More information on winter road maintenance for the City can be found on its website.
Energeticcity.ca reached out to Dawson Road Maintenance, who services North Peace roads, but didn’t receive a response at the time of publication.