The 2021 B.C. Transportation Contractor of the Year Awards of Excellence, which recognize the contractors behind some of the province’s most important transportation and infrastructure projects, took place on Dec. 3, 2021.
Since no awards were given out last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, awards were given out at this year’s ceremony for both 2020 and 2021 in the following categories: workplace health and safety, bridges and structures, grading, paving, community service, and road and bridge maintenance.
“As the past few weeks have shown, British Columbians can always count on the province’s heavy construction industry to step up when they’re most needed,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “Though these are annual awards, it’s especially important this year for us to acknowledge these contractors who tirelessly maintain our province’s highways and roads. The expertise and resilience of the winners and nominees is greatly appreciated.”
Workplace health and safety
Lafarge Canada Inc. was the recipient of the 2020 award for workplace health and safety for its ground-personnel collision-reduction initiative. By introducing a lighting system that provides a red line of light encircling asphalt paving rollers and mandating the use of a hard-hat lighting system for on-site technicians, Lafarge was able to reduce reported incidents by 37%, first-aid incidents by 41% and had zero reportable injuries in 2020.
Norland Limited is the recipient of the 2021 award for workplace health and safety after its development of an online training portal that helped significantly reduce workplace injuries. The portal provides workers in all of the company’s divisions consistent communication on organizational and safety policies, programs, procedures and expectations. It features a flexible user and administrator platform, real-time progress reporting and courses and certificates to ensure a high level of comprehension. Hands-on training is also provided for topics such as fall protection or working in confined spaces.
Bridges and structures
The Award of Excellence for Bridges and Structures in 2020 went to Dorosh Construction Ltd. for its work on the Carolin Bridge. Dorosh resurfaced the bridge deck, installed new bearings and paved the approaches to this important connection on the Coquihalla (Highway 5). Its traffic-management plan accommodated oversized loads and travellers on this critical route during construction. After an unexpected issue arose during the project, Dorosh worked with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to make sure the rehabilitation project was completed on budget and on time.
In 2021, the bridges and structures award went to Coquitlam Ridge Constructors Ltd. for its work on the Cortiana Bridge. This project included building a new two-lane, 10-metre bridge, replacing culverts and reconstructing highway approaches in a challenging location – Highway 6 in the Monashee Mountains. Coquitlam Ridge Constructors also worked to address environmental challenges, construction delays caused by record-high water flows, in-stream construction difficulties and unexpected geotechnical conditions.
Copcan Civil Ltd. was the grading award winner in 2020 for its work on the Highway 93/95 Intersection Improvements Project in Radium Hot Springs. Work included replacing the four-way stop, which caused heavy congestion and lengthy delays during peak travel periods, with a roundabout to keep traffic moving efficiently and safely through the community. Copcan worked with businesses and stakeholders to minimize disruption and finished the project months ahead of the contract completion date.
The grading award for 2021 was given to Lafarge Canada Inc. for its work on the Highway 1 Lower Lynn and Lynn Creek Connectivity Improvements Project. Lafarge’s construction included a new five-lane underpass, road realignment, ramp and intersection reconstruction, a creek relocation, and various lane, bridge and on-ramp construction. Traffic management expertise was required, with more than 120,000 vehicles passing through the construction site daily. Despite the various challenges a project of this size in this location presented, Lafarge managed to deliver on time and on budget.
All Roads Construction Ltd. was the recipient of the 2020 paving award for its work on asphalt resurfacing of Highway 1 from Willingdon to Gaglardi. In addition to asphalt overlay, the project included milling, paving, utility adjustments, barrier removal and replacement, as well as the reinstatement of lane lines and reflectors.
2021’s paving award winner was Dawson Construction. Its project had two sites, the first located on Highway 97 through 100 Mile House. This work was done at night on a limited time schedule to minimize disruptions to travellers. The second site was at 122 Mile to Enterprise Road just North of Lac La Hache. Dawson Construction also donated a portion of leftover asphalt to pave a four-kilometre road to the local ski hill.
In recognition of its ongoing contributions to enabling facility access for the Nechako Valley Exhibition Society and Murray Ridge Ski Area and Terrain Park, the 2020 award for community service went to Yellowhead Road & Bridge (Vanderhoof) Ltd. Yellowhead volunteers its resources and equipment to ensure the road to the ski area and park, and its extensive parking lots, are cleared of snow and safe for the community to access. Yellowhead assists Nechako Valley through financial sponsorship for events, grading roadways, providing gravel and dirt for infrastructure projects, providing footing for its riding areas and plowing in the winter.
The 2021 award for community service was given to Mainroad Lower Mainland Contracting LP. Since 2011, Mainroad has supported Critter Care Wildlife Society to secure food for the animals, develop better housing, strengthen enclosures and spread awareness in the community about the society. Mainroad has also supplied and modified a shipping container to use for the society’s laundry facility and hired a local graffiti artist to paint the container’s exterior.
Road and bridge maintenance
The 2020 Road and Bridge Maintenance award was given to Dawson Road Maintenance for its work in the south Cariboo region. Dawson Road Maintenance provides maintenance for 5,873 kilometres of roads, four rest areas, approximately 180 bridges, avalanche and rockfall areas, and an inland ferry. Its work also involves preparing for extreme weather events, including restoring roads after multiple floods in the district damaged transportation networks in the past year.
In 2021, Yellowhead Road & Bridge (Nicola) Ltd. was the recipient of the road and bridge maintenance award for its work in the Nicola region. Yellowhead is responsible for approximately 3,400 kilometres of roads, 168 bridges, the Lytton Reaction Ferry and a snowshed. It also manages the main highway connections through high-elevation mountain passes from the Lower Mainland into B.C.’s Interior and has increased its fleet and patrol frequencies to improve winter maintenance on this challenging terrain.
Featured image: The 2021 bridges and structures award went to Coquitlam Ridge Constructors Ltd. for its work on the Cortiana Bridge. (BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)