Spanish company awarded contract for South Okanagan highway maintenance

FILE PHOTO
Image Credit: Contributed/Ministry of Transportation

PENTICTON - South Okanagan highways and a portion of the Okanagan Connector will be maintained by a Spanish company as of May 2019.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said today, Nov. 15, in an emailed statement that the new contract for the South Okanagan region has been awarded to Acciona Infrastructure Maintenance Inc. from Spain. Argo Road Maintenance, the current contactor, will continue to clear the snow and provide other highway maintenance until April 30, 2019.

The ministry says the new contract, which takes effect May 1, 2019, was awarded through an open bidding process.

Along with the provincial highways in the South Okanagan, Acciona will take over maintenance of the portion of Highway 97C from Peachland to the Pennask Summit also being currently being maintained by Argo.

The ministry says 26 of the 28 highway maintenance contracts are being tendered and awarded in 2018 and 2019 and they all require higher standards and a more proactive approach when a winter event occurs including:

  • Increased communication with the public about changing road conditions during severe weather events and other incidents affecting travel on B.C. roads.
  • A requirement to return highways to bare pavement within 24 hours of a winter weather event ending at pavement temperatures of -9 Celsius or warmer, when de-icing chemical use is safe and effective. The previous standard was 48 hours.
  • Increased patrol frequency to 90 minutes on Class A highways such as the Coquihalla during winter storms. The previous standard was four hours.
  • Forecasted weather events will require a four hour patrol frequency compared to the previous standard of 24 hours.

Acciona is a global company employing 35,000 people, with offices in Vancouver, according the company website. The company calls itself “a leading company for developing sustainable solutions around the world through its different activities.” It develops bridges, tunnels, highways, railways and high speed rail lines in addition to constructing ports and hydro projects.


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