Queen Charlotte ready for road responsibility, and costs

  • Nov. 26, 2010 7:00 p.m.

Keeping vehicles off the roadsides in Queen Charlotte will make snow removal easier, according to village staff. The village takes full responsibility for municipal roads (not including Oceanview Drive) on Dec. 7, but the recent snowfall gave public works staff lots of practice. Chief administrative officer Bill Beamish said work crews get started at 6:30 am when the temperatures are low and there is a threat of ice. Until the roads are handed over, Queen Charlotte staff have been working under a contract with O’Brien’s Road and Bridge. “We’re using our equipment and learning the challenges of our local roads,” said Mr. Beamish. They’ve already decided that a second plow is essential. The village now has two trucks capable of sanding, but two plows will be necessary. Keeping vehicles off the roadsides will help ensure vehicles don’t get plowed in, he said. He noted that the recycling bay is being kept clear so that the village can park the salt and sanding equipment in a warm, dry area. “It’s important so the material doesn’t freeze up overnight,” he said. School bus routes and hills have road clearing priority and then come all other paved or gravel roads maintained by the village. The village’s road maintenance policy says privately managed roads constructed within the road right of way will be cleared as time and resources permit. Mr. Beamish said he got positive feedback from townspeople after the snow last week in Queen Charlotte. “There were no complaints,” he said, although a couple of people called wondering when the crews would get to their areas. Mr. Beamish also said that several private contractors are covering parking lots and private roads, but the village is ready to call upon them to help if snow falls at a rate that the village crew can’t keep up with. The province (with O’Briens) will maintain responsibility for the highway (Oceanview Drive) after next Tuesday, but the rest of the public roads in Queen Charlotte will become the responsibility of the village.