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.

Just Posted

A drug bust on Government Street in Duncan on Tuesday, March 30, led to a "substantial seizure" according to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP. (File photo)
Still searching for diver

Emergency crews in West Kelowna continue to search for a man who went missing in Okanagan Lake

A man and woman, both 33 and from Kelowna, were arrested on Postill Lake Forest Service Road in possession of two stolen vehicles Friday, May 14, 2021. (File photo)
Kelowna duo arrested with stolen vehicles after ‘brief’ bicycle getaway attempt

A man and a woman were arrested on a forest service road on numerous pending charges

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

People in Kelowna’s City Park on May 18, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Search crews looking for missing diver in Okanagan Lake near Kelowna’s City Park

At around 2:50 p.m., RCMP received reports of a diver missing.

The future of the Okanagan Lake watershed land use will be subject of a new study supported by a $300,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation. (Contributed)
Grant to help develop Okanagan Lake protection strategy

Study receives $300,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation.

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

KCR Migrant Support Worker, Javier, had an exciting day escorting his son Ian with him during ‘Take your Child to Work Day’!
KCR: Volunteering is being part of a whole

KCR Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) handed out fines to two anglers on Shuswap Lake who were both casting more than one line, in violation of provincial regulations, Saturday, May 15, 2021. (COS photo)
Conservation officers snag Shuswap anglers for unlawful fishing

Two anglers were given $150 fines for casting two lines at once, against provincial regulations

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
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

Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Lynda Saundry, born 1961, is charged with the murder of North Okanagan resident Barry Jones in July 2020. Saundry will appear in Vernon court May 17, 2021, to fix a date for a preliminary inquiry. (Facebook public photo)
North Okanagan murder suspect to be tried by judge and jury

Lynda Saundry is charged with the first-degree murder of Barry Jones in July 2020

Most Read