I BELIEVE WE NEED SAFE ROADS THAT ARE BUILT TO LAST IN GREATER SUDBURY
We have many challenges that affect road construction in Greater Sudbury, which is why we need to seek out different and innovative ways of building roads that last.
I am working towards ensuring that the City of Sudbury will:
1. Take, catalog, and store borehole samples from all new road construction.
Currently, Greater Sudbury tests the asphalt mixture from every few truckloads going to a road construction site. Taking borehole samples will be the follow-up step that will increase oversight and accountability, resulting in roads built right.
An interview with Brian Bigger while he was auditor general reported that “the problem lies with the asphalt cement, and says one of the most likely causes is the mixture they tested at the start wasn’t the same asphalt cement that was used in the pavement”. “They added some recycled asphalt to the mixture when we were not looking. And that happens all over the place.”
By taking borehole samples, we will have a sample of the road at the time of construction. If premature problems or issues with the road develop, we can take that section’s sample out of storage, analyze it, and hold companies accountable.
2. Ban motor oil from being added to asphalt for our road construction.
Greater Sudbury’s freeze-thaw cycle and the addition of motor oil to our asphalt are a very bad combination.
Simon Hesp has studied asphalt for 25 years, works with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario developing road construction, and is a chemistry professor at Queen’s University. He says “We’ve found motor oil in about 50 percent of asphalt cement in Ontario, and that is the cause of massive amounts of failure. It probably takes off five to ten years of a life-cycle of road. / At cold temperatures, the oil separates from the pavement. When temperatures rise, the oils rise to the surface, leaving the asphalt prone to cracking.”
We need to join the growing list of municipalities that have banned motor oil from their road construction.
3. Share and compare to better build our roads.
I believe that we should work with other municipalities across Canada and other northern-climate countries who have similar road-building challenges. By sharing our information, experiences, successes, and failures we can then compare processes, methods, results, costs, and solutions as we learn together how to better build our roads.
In the UK they have had success melting recycled plastic beads into asphalt pavement to create a stronger and more water resistant road. Will this work in Sudbury? Let’s find out.
4. Night work on primary arterial roads.
Road construction in the summer negatively affects local businesses and jams up our roadways. Switching our work schedule to overnight would mean work would be less interrupted by traffic for greater efficiency, cooler and safer working conditions for labourers, and less disruption to our city. I will advocate to switch to overnight work on our primary arterial roads (Kingsway, Elm, Regent, Notre Dame, Paris, etc.), as well as the option of round-the-clock construction when necessary.
Header Photo Courtesy: Sophia Bagaoui-Fradette 2018