WATCH: Ministry triggers avalanche to keep Highway 1 safe

Crews deploy a remote avalanche control system at Three Valley Gap on the Trans Canada Highway

Ever wonder how roads are kept safe in avalanche zones?

Well, the Ministry of Transportation is letting the public know how crews deal with road safety in winter conditions.

From a nearby helicopter, crews deployed a remote avalanche control system at Three Valley Gap on the Trans Canada Highway and it was call caught on camera.

The Remote Avalanche Control System, or RACS, is being piloting by the Ministry this winter along a stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway.

According to TranBC this is how RACS works:

  • Avalanche technicians monitor snowpack and weather condition to determine when avalanche control measure are required.
  • When an avalanche control measure is needed, crews close the road and perform a sweep in order to ensure that the controlled avalanche area is clear.
  • After the all-clear is given, a tech using a wireless device sends a signal to the control system tower, triggering the explosive deployment box to drop a tethered explosive charge that fires after a short delay causing an avalanche to occur.
  • After the avalanche has stopped and it’s considered safe to proceed, crews swoop in to clean the snow off the highway and road is reopened.

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