LETTER: Better road maintenance required

From reader Denis Kleine

I know we’ve been experiencing some very unusual winter conditions within this past month, but in the 40-something years I’ve lived here, I’ve never seen the highways in such poor conditions for so long. I’ve seen very little to no sand being spread on our highways. I’m not the only one that has slid sideways at low speeds on many of the sharp corners along the lake. Entering the Nelson bridge from either side has been a dangerous experience for all.

I’ve talked with my brother-in-law who has worked for the highways in the Kelowna area for almost 40 years and he said that when conditions were bad they would spread hot loads, which are basically strong mixes of salt with sand on corners and intersections and it worked well, even at –10 and colder.

The salt and sand mixes into the road when vehicles drive over it and it doesn’t take long for the ice and snow to break down. And if they didn’t use salt, they would lay sand down as heavy as they could to make the highways safe.

I’m aware the highways are privately contracted out and have a set budget to work with. So I know they cut corners to save money because in the end they need to keep within their budget. Perhaps the government needs to step in and really check to see if our highways are being maintained properly and if not then something needs to be done.

Either get the highway contractors to step up their standards or the government needs to give them extra funds to do a proper job. It seems like we the tax payers are paying a price for our highways with our lives and high ICBC rates.

Judging from the countless sirens I hear on a constant basis people are definitely paying for the poor road conditions we are experiencing.

When highways are referred to as an arterial system, the reference to the human body is real. Our road systems are the life line for our communities. They drive our economy, education and culture, our daily routines.

As individuals, we need to let the highways contractor and the government know that the roads need to be maintained to a much higher standard than they are now.

Denis Kleine

North Shore

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