Mainroad Group said on Thursday that high-elevation areas may see snowfall, including Mount Washington, the area from Gold River to Tahsis and Tsitika Summit. Image from Mainroad.ca

Highway contractor warns of snowy conditions on North Island mountain roads

Mount Washington, Gold River-Tahsis and Tsitika Summit may see snowfall this weekend

The company responsible for highway maintenance on the North Island is advising caution ahead of snowy weather predicted for mountain roads this weekend.

Mainroad Group said on Thursday that high-elevation areas may see snowfall, including Mount Washington, the area from Gold River to Tahsis and Tsitika Summit.

The company – which holds the provincial maintenance contract for the North Island – advised motorists to check current conditions at DriveBC.com.

Mainroad said it would “patrol the service area throughout the weather event and respond accordingly.”

The contractor also warned of ice and slippery conditions, especially during frosty mornings and evenings.

READ MORE: Mainroad North Island ready to prepare region’s highways for winter

READ MORE: Solving B.C. highway safety with speed limits not easy, UBC prof says

“Shaded areas, bridge decks, and corners are common areas where these conditions can occur on roads that may appear clear and dry,” the company said in an advisory. “If vehicle windows are frosty, the surface of the road may be as well.”

On Sept. 1, Mainroad took over the contract for a vast area of the Island called Service Area 3, which stretches roughly from Mud Bay to Gold River and Port Hardy. It also includes Quadra, Cortes, Denman and Hornby Island.

The 10-year contract includes tougher provisions introduced earlier this year by the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

One new rule requires contractors to return roads to bare pavement within 24 hours of a weather event – instead of 48 hours – if temperatures are above -9 C.

Companies are also required to increase their patrol frequencies during weather events on major highways.

Mainroad Group holds a number of highway contracts, including all three service areas on Vancouver Island. The company is based in Surrey, and its North Island headquarters are located in Cumberland.

Members of the public can send their reports and feedback to the company at 1-877-215-7122.

@davidgordonkoch
david.koch@campbellrivermirror.com

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