Contract work for roads on highways in Ponoka County has changed.
The contract, previously awarded to Alberta Highway Services, a private contractor for Alberta Transportation, has now gone to Mainroad AB.
As a result of the change, Nikirk Bros. Contracting, who subcontracted to Alberta Highway Services, no longer does the work.
“We were quite lucky to keep it as long as we did,” said Chris Nikirk.
The change in contract was disappointing, but Nikirk said there was nothing underhanded in the transaction.
Nikirk explained that Mainroad AB originated out of British Columbia, but have opened a branch in Alberta. He said service levels provided by Mainroad AB may appear to be unsatisfactory, but they are following rules stipluated in their contract.
“My understanding is there is lots of changes to the service levels. They (Mainroad AB) are just doing their job.”
Charlie Cuthford, CAO for Ponoka County said the county is “not too thrilled with the change.”
Mike Baik, operations manager for Alberta Transportation said Mainroad AB is responsible for road maintenance for the counties of Red Deer, Wetaskiwin, Ponoka and Lacombe.
Mainroad came into existence with the privatization of British Columbia’s Highway maintenance work in 1988.
A group of government workers became employee owners of the company and took over the maintenance contract in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland.
They now are a management company in Western Canada employing approximately 650 workers in 18 operating businesses across British Columbia and Alberta.
There has been some confusion that Mainroad is actually SNC-Lavalin operating under a different name.
However, according to information on the web the only connection between the two companies is a partnership with one of Mainroad’s companies, Mainroad Chinook Contracting.
Information on the web states Mainroad Chinook Contracting has been contracted by Chinook Highway Operations Inc. – a partnership between SNC-Lavalin Operations & Maintenance Inc. and Acciona Concessions Canada (2008) Inc. The maintenance contract includes services such as road repair, snow-removal and lighting maintenance for the Southeast Stoney Trail (SEST). The headquarters and main works yard for Mainroad Chinook Contracting are located in the Calgary community.