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South Okanagan crews ready for winter road maintenance

Road maintenance crews will be out this winter to keep the highways clear, but not all roads will be cleared equally fast.

On Nov. 21, Jeff Wiseman, operations manager with the provincial Ministry of Transportation, told the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen board that the province has snow clearing standards in place, but these standards vary depending on the highway.

“During the winter, there will be snow on the roads, and the roads will be slippery from time to time,” Wiseman said.

READ ALSO: B.C. raising highway maintenance standards for winter driving

READ ALSO: Nearly half of B.C. drivers nervous in winter conditions: BCAA

Class A highways, such as Highway 97 and Highway 3, are cleared when snow accumulation of four centimetres or less has occurred.

Class B highways, such as the Keremeos bypass, are cleared when up to six centimetres of snow has accumulated.

Roads in industrial or school areas are cleared when snow accumulation reaches 10 centimetres or less. Subdivision roads are cleared at 15 centimetres or less.

Crews also have priorities for removing slush and broken compact snow from roads.

Highway 3 and Highway 97 are cleared of slush and broken compact snow within 90 minutes, while industrial and school routes are cleared within six hours.

This year, roads in the South Okanagan and Similkameen will be cleared by AIM Roads.

Earlier this year the province and AIM entered into a 10-year agreement for road maintenance in the area, including the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.

Wiseman said AIM is acquiring the equipment necessary for road maintenance, but not all has been received at present.

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John Arendt

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