BC's rockwork program can be dangerous but it keeps drivers safe

Dangerous but necessary

It’s not a job for the faint of heart.

British Columbia’s mountain landscape means our highways pass through challenging terrain. The B.C government's rockwork program ensures that rockfalls are quickly cleared from roadways, and that fragile rock formations are safely removed or pinned to mountainsides to improve driver safety. These workers are responsible for about 47,000 kilometres of roads and in any given year, the province of B.C. experiences 1,600 rockfall events.

Which means someone has to climb up the rock cuts and knock the loose rocks free and remove them before they fall and hit the highway or passing vehicles.

“The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Rockwork Program is dedicated to reducing the rockfall hazard for highway travellers by identifying, prioritizing and mitigating rockfall hazards throughout the province. B.C.’s mountainous landscape,” says a spokesperson for British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

British Columbia is home to some of the most picturesque landscapes in the country but with large amounts of precipitation, lush vegetation and mountainous terrain, it’s also prone to rock and debris falls.

That means a specialized team of professionals has to react every time there is a rock or debris fall.

“Our team of engineering geologists and geotechnical engineers have enhanced measures for reducing the impact of rock and debris fall,” said the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Rockfalls happen more often in the spring when changing temperatures and increased rainfall affects the slopes above B.C. highways.

“Rockfalls are a natural process and can’t always be prevented. In those cases, the ministry and its maintenance contractors spring into action to ensure the highway is cleared and safe for travellers.”

@meltedby9am Could YOU do this job? #fyp ? Iris - Natalie Taylor

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