Mainroad Lower Mainland Contracting is preparing for heavy snowfall this winter, and they warn that drivers throughout the Lower Mainland should be as well. (Sam Anderson)

‘Winter is coming,’ warns highway maintenance crew

Drivers should prepare themselves for another snowy season, says Mainroad Contracting

Mainroad Group, the contracting company that maintains the Lower Mainland’s provincial highways, is warning that drivers should prepare themselves for another snowy winter.

“This year’s winter forecast is looking very similar to last year,” said Darren Ell, Mainroad Group general manager. “Winter is coming. So far it hasn’t hit, but we are still expecting it to come and we are prepared for it.”

Ell said that after every winter season, Mainroad analyzes what went well and what didn’t.

Following last year’s winter, “what we figured was we needed to pay a little more attention to some of the interchanges, the cloverleafs,” said Ell. “The main arterials are working very well.”

“We look at equipment, staffing, resources, and see what could be better. This year we’re adding more trucks. We’ve added three more plow trucks, with wings, and a bigger brine truck. Big improvement over the last year, and it should help us out with the process,” he said.

Last year, Mainroad Group laid down more around 6,500 tonnes of salt on provincial highways — more than twice the average for a season, which is typically 2,000 to 3,000 tonnes. They also used more than 1 million litres of salt brine.

Ell said that Mainroad was prepared for another hard winter, and that he’d like to “remind drivers to travel safely and be properly prepared as well.”

He also wanted to give commuters a refresher on how to safely share the road with a snow plow with a list of do’s and don’ts, including:

  • Do turn on your headlights.
  • Do use winter-rated snow tires.
  • Do give snow plows at least 10 car lengths of space. Salt, snow, as well as rocks and other debris in the snow, is picked up and can hit nearby vehicles.
  • Do remember the road in front of the plow hasn’t been plowed yet. Slow down and be patient. When it’s safe to do so, the snow plow will pull over to allow motorists to pass.
  • Don’t assume the snow plow driver can see you. Keep your distance.
  • Don’t pass snow plows. You put yourself, your passengers, the snow plow operater and other motorists at risk when you try to pass a plow.
  • Don’t tailgate.

Motorists can go to for more winter safety tips. You can even take a quick quiz to see how much you really know about driving safely in winter conditions.

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