The B.C. transportation ministry issued a non-conformance report to Acciona Infrastructure Maintenance Inc. on May 24, after the new highway maintenance contractor for the Okanagan failed to meet its sweeping target. (Submitted photo)

The B.C. transportation ministry issued a non-conformance report to Acciona Infrastructure Maintenance Inc. on May 24, after the new highway maintenance contractor for the Okanagan failed to meet its sweeping target. (Submitted photo)

New Okanagan highway maintenance contractor fails to meet sweeping targets

Acciona failed to meet targets for several reasons, including not having full equipment fleet

The new highway maintenance contractor for the Okanagan will need to improve its service.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said it issued a non-compliance report to Acciona Infrastructure Maintenance (AIM) Inc. on May 24.

AIM was awarded a 10-year contract to conduct highway maintenance for the Okanagan-Shuswap and South Okanagan starting on April 1. However, due to reasons including not having a full complement of equipment, AIM failed to sweep all required numbered highways by the May 15 target.

As a result, the ministry required AIM to complete the road sweeping by an updated target of June 15 and submit a corrective action plan by July 1.

AIM failed to meet the updated target as well. Despite putting “extensive effort into completing sweeping work as quickly as possible,” a ministry representative said, some of the work has been extended beyond the June 15 date.

READ MORE: New highways maintenance contractor begins work April-May

AIM Roads operations director Greg Ehman said there are several reasons the company did not achieve its targets.

First, Ehman said there was significantly more winter sand left on the roads than anticipated.

“Due to the contract changeover, the previous contractor was not able to undertake as rigorous a sweeping program in March as they historically had performed,” Ehman said in an email. “This additional sweeping and quantity caused additional delays in our sweeping.”

He said the company also lost multiple days due to April storms and lost time after deciding to move machines from highways to rural subdivisions because they received “a high volume of stakeholder concerns” in those areas.

New machines AIM had ordered also failed to arrive by April 1, leaving the company without a full complement of equipment. Ehman attributed this to the fact that in 2018-2019, 26 of 28 highway maintenance contracts in B.C. were retendered, plus additional contracts in Alberta.

“This contract retendering process resulted in the majority of contractors renewing their fleet, causing in turn, a strain on equipment suppliers and resulting delays in equipment deliveries,” he said, adding that AIM tried to make up for the equipment delays by subcontracting local contractors that “have historically been sufficient to complete the sweeping program in the area.”

READ MORE: New highway maintenance contractor selected for Okanagan-Shuswap

According to the ministry, the company recently submitted its corrective action plan.

“The ministry is satisfied [AIM] has taken appropriate action to make up for the delays experienced this spring and moving forward will meet our high standards for road maintenance,” a representative said.

The plan to improve sweeping next season includes increased use of approved supplies; being able to start sweeping earlier without the contract changeover; deploying all new equipment as originally planned, and; adjusting shifts to double-shift sweeping equipment.

Asked if the company will be ready for colder weather, Ehman said they expect all equipment will be in place in advance of the winter.

“A significant portion of the winter equipment is in place with nearly all the outstanding equipment expected to arrive over the summer months,” he said.

Ehman also said a dedicated communications centre for the area will be up and running by August.

“Overall, we look forward to a smooth winter,” he said.

READ MORE: Public pans snow-clearing in Shuswap



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Randy Mills/@poohbah431111 - Twitter)
Motorcyclist rushed to Kelowna General Hospital after collision

The collision occurred around 7:15 p.m. at the intersection of Highway 33 and Gerstmar Road

Three Lake Country firefighters scaled Spion Kop in support of their Movember fundraiser. (District of Lake Country photo)
Lake Country firefighters scale Spion Kop for Movember fundraiser

The three firefighters did the arduous 2.63-kilometre climb while breathing bottled air

Quigley Elementary. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: More COVID-19 cases confirmed at Kelowna Schools

Interior Health announced exposures at both Kelowna Secondary and Quigley Elementary on Sunday

Former Vancouver Canucks goaltender Richard Brodeur discussing his paintings with the executive director of the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan Kirsteen McCulloch. (Contributed)
Former Canucks goalie King Richard’s art displayed at Kelowna gallery

Richard Brodeur starred in the Vancouver Canucks’ 1982 Stanley Cup run

Real Canadian Superstore in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
Kelowna Superstore employee tests positive for COVID-19

The last day the employee worked was Nov. 23

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A confirmed case of COVID-19 at Vernon’s Silver Star Elementary School has been reported. (Google Maps)
COVID case confirmed at Okanagan elementary school

Member of Silver Star Elementary community in Vernon self-isolating at home; parents alerted Nov. 28

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Steve French caught the halo moon on his camera on Saturday night. (Steve French Facebook)
Did you see the halo moon last night?

The halo is actually millions of tiny ice crystals

Most Read