The government is trying to fill out its roster of mechanics in order to keep its 300-piece fleet of snowclearing equipment in tip-top shape as winter looms.
There are still 12 openings, according to the Department of Transportation and Works.
Last year, government faced a barrage of criticism about snowclearing efforts. Figures showed that at certain times, only a fraction of the available machines were out on the roads.
Independent MHA Paul Lane posted reports on social media that showed a snapshot of equipment availability over several days. It indicated, as one example, that only 22 per cent of equipment was available one day at a major highway depot.
Then-transportation minister Eddie Joyce said at the time breakdowns are a "common occurrence," due to the heavy snow.
Help wanted on the Avalon
"The mechanic vacancies were primarily located in the Avalon region," according to a statement from the Department of Transportation and Works provided to CBC this week.
The job vacancies break down as follows:
- 4 (out of 21) for the Avalon
- 3 (out of 32) for western region
- 3 (out of 28) for central region
- 2 (out of 24) for eastern region
These openings "can be attributed to normal turnover rates," according to the department.
New kind of plow
There's a new addition to the snowclearing fleet this year — a tow plow which is tied behind a traditional snow plow.
The rear blade allows for snow to be cleared from the left lane and the right lane at the same time, according to government.
It's a pilot project to gauge how effective this type of plow is on provincial highways. Motorists will see the new machine on the TCH between Route 2 and Salmonier Line.