Local contractor wins bid for winter road maintenance

as the mayor sees it with District of Barriere Mayor Bill Humphreys - Local contractor wins bid for winter road maintenance

The District of Barriere will take over the responsibility for the maintenance of the roads within the district this fall. Recently our district engineer has been working with ministry staff to complete an inventory of possible outstanding road maintenance concerns. This is also being done in our neighbouring communities. Once complete any shortfalls in the maintenance will be negotiated with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Hopefully this process will insure that when we start maintaining the roads within the district most of the long standing issues will have been corrected.

The district recently completed a Request For Proposals process for winter road maintenance. The successful proponent was local contractor Murray Purcha and Son. The contract should be let by early September and will cover winter road snow clearing, sanding and salting. The process to set out what were the priorities for the district winter road maintenance was quite comprehensive. Hopefully all bases were covered.

During the process a number of interesting road related items came up. One was why water pools along some roads. We were told that roads are ideally not flat. They are built to shed water off their surface and into either a ditch or onto ground that will allow for drainage. Over the years some residents have chosen to fill in the shallow ditches and plant grass to the road edge. This makes a ridge along the side of the road and the water does not properly drain away. This makes for puddles in the warmer months and ice patches in the winter.

District staff has been tasked to identify areas of concern and work with residents to rebuild proper drainage along the roads. It is unfortunate that in some neighbourhoods there may be some short term disruption while the drainage swales are rebuilt. Some homeowners take great pride in their lawns and yards and change will not be welcome. In all cases staff will consult with the residents before any work is undertaken.  This is an important part of the long term plan to maintain our roads in the best possible condition.

The tender process for the collection portion of the sewer system has been posted. The tendering completion date is July 25 at 2 p.m. with a public opening to be held at the district office here in Barriere. All details of this tender are available on BC Bid. Once the process is complete and the tender is awarded it is hoped that the work will start this fall and continue through the winter should the weather allow for this.

Part of this work will involve drilling horizontally under the highway. Large pits on either side of the highway will be dug to accommodate this work. Also there will be numerous trenches and other holes dug during construction. I urge all residents to be aware of the dangers of this type of activity and keep pets and children away from hazardous situations.

The tendering for the waste water plant should be ready for bid this summer. If the building structure can be started this fall, then the work inside the building could continue through the winter. There is a great deal of design work around this system as it is quite a bit bigger than others like it. Once the process has been finalized we will put together a display for the public to view. I am hopeful this can be done by the time the Fall Fair rolls around. The fair attracts a large number of people and has proven to be a great venue for getting information out to residents.

District staff and members of the public worked long and hard to get our community ready for the recent visit by the judges from Communities in Bloom. The fruits of their labours can be seen everywhere. This year the district partnered with TNRD Area O to have a volunteer appreciation barbeque as a portion of the Communities in Bloom celebration. It is important that we recognize the efforts of all our volunteers here in the valley. Working together makes good things happen. I want to thank Director Kershaw for his efforts around making this possible. Perhaps it can become an ongoing tradition.