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October 27, 2017 11:42 pm

Road Maintenance Receives $36 Million Boost from Province

Sunday, March 20, 2016 @ 5:00 AM
Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone at this week's announcement in Kamloops - photo courtesy provincial government

Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone at this week’s announcement in Kamloops – photo courtesy provincial government

Prince George, B.C. – The provincial government has announced more money to help maintain B.C.’s highways and roads.

Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone made the $36 million announcement Friday in Kamloops.

“Our maintenance contractor’s use of new and innovative technologies ensures we get the most for our maintenance dollars,” he said.

“Whether it be the use of beet juice-based anti-icing liquids to keep road surfaces clear in winter or real-time traffic monitoring, we are committed to ensuring our provincial roads throughout the province are maintained to the highest safety standards all year.”

He said the $36 million will be spread over three years and will cover inflation and the rising costs of services.

The money will also enable maintenance contractors to continue to purchase new equipment and adopt the latest technology.

So how much of the $36 million will Prince George and its surrounding areas receive?

“All 28 maintenance contract service areas in the province – including the Northern region and Prince George – will receive this additional funding, it is not limited to a select number of contract service areas,” said the ministry in an email to 250News.

“Specifics on regional funding for each contract value will vary depending on the size of its road and bridge inventory. Final funding for each region has not been determined but it will be allocated based on the needs of the service area.

“With contracts coming up for renewal in the coming years, government will be considering service levels and funding for the renewed maintenance contracts.”


Must be an election on the horizon. Krusty’s gearing up. She will be spending lots of money in the Kamloops-Kelowna area and the Lower Mainland. Gotta keep her dinosaur SoCred base happy.

    ooooo maybe a fall election.

    yea I know I’m dreaming .

Why is it a celebration when a politician announces they are going to spend MORE of OUR money? Shouldn’t it be the other way around…..
Just once I’d like to hear them announce that they’ve found a way to cut costs without cutting services.

    When was the last time you saw the cost of a car go down rather than up over the years? How about the cost of a plumber to fix a leak in your house or an electrician?

    Is buying a newspaper cheaper today than 10 years ago? A restaurant meal?

    Make yourself a list of things you pay for each month that have nothing to do with government services and put down what you were spending for that 20 years ago, 10 years ago and today.

You have a choice when it comes to buying ac car, hiring a plumber or electrician, buying a newspaper, or going to a restaurant. You have no choice (usually) when the Government decides it will raise your taxes for some perceived need, that usually doesn’t stand up under scrutiny.

Government waste and spending is indefensible, so lets quit trying to defend them.

Use the above story as an example. The question as to how much money Prince George would get was never answered.

So we have $38 Million spread over 28 maintenance contract service areas in BC. If the money was evenly distributed each area would get $1,285,714.00. Spread over three years, this would amount to $428,571.00 per year.

This is really not a lot of money, however they are trying to make it sound like its a really big deal.

Try again Stone.

    There you go exaggerating again. There are plenty of areas and services where government spending is perfectly defensible. What is indefensible is starving those areas and services for funding over most of a mandate then turning on the spigot when an election hoves into view.

      So you feel that government should be stopping to do their business about one year before an election? Perhaps two years?

      Notice this goes 2 years over their mandate. That means that it is a target for an opposition party running for election.

      They could say they would not spend that money promised for beyond 2017. In fact, they could say that we have been spending far too much on highway maintenance, that if elected, they would go back to government departments taking care of public works.

      Maybe we could get KPMG to do a core services review of the BC government. ;-)

    You know as well as I do that the two are not comparable. We have a choice when we elect the government which will set the direction for the province, the municipality, the country.

    That is our system. It is like contracting a lawn and snow clearing service for your house over a four-year period with a few clauses which take care of annual changes to cover unforeseen conditions. That is one choice you have. Highway service contracts start the same way. There is a starting year sum which gets negotiated each year to take care of situations which varied from what was anticipated.
    You have a better system?

    Tell us about it.


    The money will likely not be spread based on simply dividing the number of service areas into the total. At the moment, the “north” (from North Cariboo on) gets about 33% of the contract budget.

    This “new” ingestion is about a 3% annual increase in the total provincial highways maintenance contract budget. It will be based on the local needs. Seems fair to me. Also seems fair to me for those who are responsible to do this work for us, the citizens, will determine how it is best allocated.

    Keep in mind that If we were to allocate the money based on the tax money collected by the province from the residents of the regions, we would be up chits creek.

    Just to provide an example. The Fort George district contract in 2004 was for close to $13 million. I have not checked what it is now. The contract runs out in May 2019. The amount was 4.3% of the provincial total budget of that period when contracts originated which ranged from 2003 to 2006.

    Based on that, the amount Fort George should be getting is $408,426/year for 3 years if it was evenly distributed on that basis.

Todd you already had your picture taken last July in front of the Salmon Valley bridge. So how is that project going?

    That announcement was made July 20, 2015. The article on 250 states: construction of the new bridge will start in 2016, with a projected completion date of the end of 2017″

    We just passed the middle of March 2016. I expect to see work there in the next few months. Until then you are just another complainer who does not remember the announcement details, or can’t look them up if you forgot.

    Anything to get a dig in, right?!!

Interesting funding priorities this government has; “He said the $36 million will be spread over three years and will cover inflation and the rising costs of services.” (for highway maintenance). Yet funding for public education has not met the rising cost of inflation for many years, forcing school districts to implement user pay fees, like charging for bus transportation. What a deal for all the families living in this and other school districts, close half our schools forcing more students to use the bus, and now charge them for it!!! We need to question his government’s funding priorities.

How dismal is the level of government funding for our public education system? Read what Tony Cable, our own School District Board Chair, posted on his facebook page.

www. facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1741887146030344&id=1562824523936608

    It couldn’t meet the rising cost of inflation without adding to that inflation. Not under the present financial arrangements.

gopg2015—Yes I will put a dig in when I can and I will give you another. The highway to Cache Creek was supposed to be twinned by 2020 also but I see they took the completion date sign down now. So why is that?

    You keep putting in digs that have no grounds in truth.

    The original announcement was made in the spring of 2005. It can be accessed here: archive.news.gov.bc.ca/releases/archive/2001-2005/2005tran0026-000476.htm in case you wish to educate yourself.

    The announcement was that the connector would be a phased project. It included 5 year components. The first component was for $200million and included twinning the Fraser River bridge. That component did not start construction till 2007.

    That was completed. If you ever drive the highway to Cache Creek you will see signs identifying the phases under construction. Each time a phase is completed, completion signs are put up. Perhaps those are what you are referencing.

    I was around in 2005 and keenly interested in the project. The problem I, as well as many other people, noted with the original announcement is that there was no time limit or expected schedule for completion. The talk of the day that I can recall was an estimate of anywhere between 50 and 100 years. Of course, by that time we would have new type vehicles with the possibility of new type of roadways to accommodate them, even though clear, improved right-of-ways would likely still be required.

    I agree that the going is slow. The section between 100 mile house and Clinton has been able to take advantage of a 4 lane section built several decades ago in the middle of nowhere since the highways minister of the day was from the area. Now there are 110km/hr sections in that location.

    Giving consideration to the need for bypasses in Hixon, Quesnel, Williams Lake, Lac LaHache, 100 Mile House, Clinton, as well as Cache Creek to take the highway to both Kamloops as well as Merritt to bypass the Canyon this project will not be finished until 2100 if the same rate of investment in this project continues as in the past.

    Personally, I think there is more merit in completing a 4 lane project to Quesnel and doing it within 10 years.

This was the easiest winter we ever had for road maintenance. They may have only been working the roads for six weeks of the year. They should have a huge surplus for the year to carry over to next year?

So the funding announcement makes little sense at this time.

Promises ,promises, promises.

I would hope that some of this added funding will be used to purchase sand for sanding roads. This winter all highways contractors were being permitted to “sand” roads with 3/4″ GRAVEL. Anyone who travelled on provincial northern highways this winter is probably needing a new windshield and has a horde of paint damage to their vehicles!

    The amount of gravel on HWY 97 North was brutal this winter! One road trip and my new windshield was beat to heck with 5 major rock strikes!

    I thought that this highway was upgraded from a Class B highway to a Class A highway last year?

    If upgrading to Class A status means dumping 3/4″ crush on the roads, then perhaps we should go back to Class B status! Or, perhaps I should just invest in a glass shop and get rich!

    I sure have. Am waiting another month before I get the windshield fixed. My windshield costs around $1,200. With a $200 deductible that means my insurance premium pays for the windshield and ICBC is left with nothing from me.

    Of course, less truck traffic would also reduce the car damage from winter driving.

So far this winter I have replaced 2 windshields and had 3 rock chips fixed..$520 between wife’s car and my truck. Usually would not replace glass until spring, but both windshields were damaged really bad and were unsafe to see through for nighttime driving. One trip caused 4 seperate cracks, mostly rocks from oncoming transports (i dont blame them, this is M.O.T’s doing in allowing use of “6.5mm dia traction material” as quoted by new highway spec).
I would like to know the amount of windshield claims versus 5 yrs ago. I would bet there is a substantial increase which will further cause ICBC rates to climb.

    and I’ve heard that if you file too many windshield claims, ICBC says they won’t cover you any more!

      That is ridiculous. I keep my distance from cars in front. The hits that I have been getting are actually mainly from oncoming traffic, not from vehicles in front of me.

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