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City hall is going to spend $3.8 million on this

Tuesday, April 29, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

City council approved the engineering and planning department’s recommendation to spend $3.8 million on 2014 road resurfacing.

Discussion of the city’s road resurfacing to-do list came up at Monday’s regular council meeting.

Every year, most of the $1 million miscellaneous construction budget is used for road resurfacing, but city staff’s report to council says that fund is not enough to keep up with rising construction costs.

The engineering and planning division knows that several roads will have to be resurfaced in the next few years, and to meet demand, extra money was put aside for 2014 than the miscellaneous budget usually allows for.

Bill Freiburger, commissioner of finance and treasurer, has informed council that surpluses from 2012 and 2013 capital programs exist, and that $1,360,000 of that money should be used for resurfacing.

Council also previously approved $925,000 to be used from the 2013 budget surplus for resurfacing of Great Northern Road north of Second Line.

Those two amounts, along with capital and miscellaneous amounts in the 2014 budget bring the total for this year’s road resurfacing to $3,870,000.

"There are many roads that need to be done but we try to do the worst ones first," said Don Elliott, director of engineering services.

Elliott said roadwork is done based on engineering recommendations, not based on which city ward those roads are in.

Roads that are classified by the city as Class A to be resurfaced with an asphalt recycling technique, including a 50 millimetre layer of new surface asphalt, are Great Northern Road from Second Line to Third Line (a vital roadway which will have a sidewalk on its west side), Pine Street from Willoughby Street to Civic 700, and Pim Street from Ontario Avenue to Summit Avenue.

Class B roads to be pulverized and paved with donated asphalt from other projects are Base Line from Town Line to Carpin Beach Road and Fourth Line West from Civic 887 to Goulais Avenue.

Anna Street from Manitou Drive, Manitou Drive from Anna to north limit, Frontenac Street from Adeline to west limit of Batchewana First Nation and Fournier Road from Trunk Road to Queen Street will be converted from surface treatment (a mix of tar and gravel) to class B.

A city staff report to council says a class B surface will mean greater durability for these roads, several of which are bus routes.

Borden Avenue from West Balfour Street to 30 metres south of the creek, Vera Street from Adeline Avenue to east limit, River Road from Fournier Road to north limit, Connor Road from Sixth Line to east limit and Falldien Road from Queen Street to River Road will have their surfaces replaced if there is enough left in the project budget.

There will also be construction of a sidewalk on the south side of MacDonald Avenue near the MacDonald and Pine Street intersection.


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Sam C 4/29/2014 10:06:47 AM Report

Not surprising, really. Asphalt pavement is sand and gravel mixed with bitumen... essentially tar. It is applied by motorized machinery, so the cost of the material, the process, and its application will increase as fuel and oil prices increase.

We complain about our roads, but we also wantto keep taxes low. I'm not convinced we can have both good roads and low taxes... you get what you play for, after all.

Hopefully the city will continue to put a bit extrainto road work, so that we can, eventually, get caught up with repairing the current mess.
itsme29 4/29/2014 10:11:01 AM Report

maybe its time to look at an alternative. the asphalt system were using just isn't holding up.. looks like florida technology? just thinking it would be cheaper to do it right once then have to repave and patch constantly
ThinkAgain 4/29/2014 10:41:58 AM Report

Our population base has become smaller, municipal salaries continue to rise, no real jobs in this town for years, employment at all time high, city hall now needs major repair. Still use the same road repair technology that came from Florida.

The tax payer pays more and gets less in return.
whatstheproblemhere 4/29/2014 10:57:05 AM Report

Great Northern Road is definitely a priority but Wallace Terrace is pretty rough too... too bad it's not on the list yet.

Not looking forward to the traffic jams on GNR while they're resurfacing.
Sam C 4/29/2014 11:02:50 AM Report

Florida? The asphalt system we use came from Scotland. (Google a fellow named "MacAdam.")

I've said it before, there has yet to be a paving system invented that could fully withstand a Canadian winter, and this year's was one doozy of a winter.

I went for a drive in the country this past weekend, between Blind River and Echo Bay... there is not one road that I drove on that has not been damaged by frost heaves. Many have lines straight down the middle, where the frost came up sooner than that below either side of centre. Others have cracks across the roadway, and still others have chunks that have fallen off the side.

And, the roads in the various towns along the way have suffered a similar fate.

No matter how well the surface is prepared, frost gets into the ground, and causes heaves and boils. Driving on the pavement only drives the frost deeper along the wheel tracks, causing it to heave even more unevenly.

Add to that all the underground structure -- power lines, water and sewage pipes, etc -- and I'm surprised they aren't in worse condition than they are.

Right of Centre 4/29/2014 11:08:45 AM Report

The addition of a sidewalk on the south side of MacDonald, at Pine, is good news for those using the Sault College/Algoma U bus. Perhaps in the near future a sidewalk could be added to Pine, from MacDonald to McNabb, and beyond.

Since the bus route changed, and Pine has been extended to Second Line, pedestrians and those using that bus, must be on Pine, often with very heavy traffic. Add in snowbanks, taking up roadway, and it is a disaster in the making.

The sidewalk on the west side of Pine is not of any use for those using the bus. First, it's on the school side, where school buses take children, they no longer walk. Secondly, there is only one city transit stop at Cunningham on that side, and not another until south of MacDonald. At the same time, there are several stops on the opposite (east) side, but no sidewalk. Nonsensical.
eadiecougs 4/29/2014 11:23:55 AM Report

chambers ave is terrible band aid solutions don't work just throwing money out the window.The highways are a mess too instead of getting raises maybe they might want to put the money towards the roads.
ShawnM 4/29/2014 1:02:48 PM Report

I just always find it funny how just after they pave, someone always comes around and decides to dig a hole in the freshly paved road because they either forgot something or need to fix something.

But either way its hard to compare a paving method from florida with super warm weather to the cold we experience here. I am sure there is something that could be done to help like maybe putting something in the mix to make it more flexible but keep it together.
RonBes 4/29/2014 1:28:39 PM Report

Anyone been down Biggings avenue recently? It's destroyed. There is no other word for it. I've been on better bush roads.

The entire north half is one giant pothole and the southern half is only marginally better.

Surely they can spare a few bucks from the budget to resurface it; it's a small area.

Oh, and it would be swell if they'd fix the storm sewer as well. They filled in the northern part with concrete when it *collapsed* due to neglect a few years back. Consequently, every time it rains, the road becomes a 6-inch-deep river, further exacerbating the condition due to erosion. And spring flooding because of this has done no favours to the basements of the residents.

The city ought to either fix that road *properly*, or close off the Wellington end permanently (to deter non-local traffic) and rename it Biggings Lane or Biggings Court.
tosimple 4/29/2014 3:07:57 PM Report

Ya watching the 12 or 14 City workers stand around a truck while one of them throws junk in a pot hole get's kinda gut wrenching....
bocca1 4/29/2014 4:31:52 PM Report

As usual upper Maki Road to Red Rock Road isn't touched even though it's down to the base so there is nothing left to plough or grade. What was there is now at the side of the road so top speed is some times less than 10km. and car parts litter the road. The vast majority of the many people and businesses travelling on the road are city tax payers but aren't acknowledged by the city. WORST road in the city despite decades of requests for repairs.
Alystr 4/29/2014 4:59:53 PM Report

Pine Street from McNabb to 2nd Line is just full of pure awesomeness.
gluceg 4/29/2014 10:20:35 PM Report

Right about Wallace, as well as its many side streets (Careful - Sixth Ave) also Connaught. these roads are so bad doing more than 10km/h is dangerous and could easily damage your vehicle
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