By Andrea Arnold
The topic of road conditions, especially in the winter, is a heated one to say the least. I cannot speak to what happens in the Valemount area, but around McBride, the crews that take care of the roads, especially in the winter, can’t catch a break.
I have noticed it isn’t just a problem for the highway maintenance crews either. The Public Works crew responsible for the village streets have taken a beating this year. As soon as the snow accumulates, they are out there clearing streets and removing snow. They are a small crew with limited resources. The village does have an order of importance for snow removal, starting with streets used regularly for emergency vehicles, school access and Main Street. The process of clearing some areas is hindered by parked vehicles, or the accessibility of a space to pile the snow out of the way. It all takes some time.
The frequency of blowing snow and warm temperatures this winter have created village-wide skating rinks a few times. These conditions are hard for crews to combat and I for one have appreciated the effort they have put in to keep citizens safe.
The crews that take care of the highway and other roads covering all the way from Crescent Spur to past Avola, get more than their fair share of criticism too. This stretch of highway covers over 280 km, plus the countless secondary roads. Anyone who has travelled this area knows that the weather can vary drastically from one community to the next. As I said, I am not as familiar with the southern portion of this coverage, but having made the trip to and from Prince George a few times in the last month, I really appreciate the work put in by crews covering this stretch. It was amazing to see the difference between the McBride end of the trip as opposed to closer to Prince George.
I have seen so many complaints about conditions on facebook, or heard people complaining when things aren’t perfect.
Where are the kudos, the atta boys and thank yous? When the snow flies, and even before, around-the-clock crews are out on the roads trying to come up with the perfect combination of snow removal, sand and salt products to keep residents and visitors safe as they navigate the winter roads.