South Okanagan road maintenance crews on the job around the clock this week - InfoNews

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South Okanagan road maintenance crews on the job around the clock this week

It continues to be a challenging week for the region's road crews as they struggle to keep up with winter weather conditions in the Okanagan.
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
December 29, 2017 - 12:45 PM

PENTICTON - It’s been a difficult week for South Okanagan road crews, with more winter weather and snow on the way.

The operations manage for Argo Road Maintenance in the South Okanagan, Al Fraser, says it has been a challenging week for his road crews as they deal with significant snowfall and freezing temperatures.

“When it gets to -10 Celsius or colder it’s more of a challenge, because the effectiveness of salt is reduced,” Fraser says.

“The boys have been going round and round, 24-7, but it definitely is a challenge when it’s cold like this, and snowing,” he says, adding crews will continue to be active around the clock through the weekend leading up to New Year's Day on Monday, Jan. 1.

Glazing on Highway 97 due to lake effect might have been responsible for some road conditions that resulted in a number of motor vehicle incidents on the highway between Summerland and Penticton on Wednesday, Dec. 27, Fraser says.

He says there was sand on the road but the lake effect can contribute to slippery conditions when it produces a frosty section on the road that refreezes, commonly known as black ice because it’s transparent and all motorists see is the black pavement underneath.

Environment Canada's Allan Coldwells says from a meteorological point of view, black ice is what forms when water on the surface of the road freezes due to falling temperatures or because the surface of the road is below freezing.

“The moisture could be the result of precipitation, standing water on the road surface, or melt water from warmer daytime temperatures. At night, when the air temperature drops, ice forms.” Coldwells says.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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