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Roads meeting discussion centered around cold rolled recycled process

by Sylene Argent

Last Wednesday evening, staff members of the Town’s Public Works Department hosted a special meeting to explain the various types of road surfacing the Town uses to Council. Discussion at the meeting kept circling back to the cold rolled recycled process used last year on the 8th Concession and Gore Road.

Council received a verbal report from Chris Nepszy, Chief Administrative Officer, regarding the Town’s road network.

During the meeting, Nepszy described the Town’s road maintenance routine to members of Council, highlighting the types of processes used to maintain or upgrade road surfaces, their costs, and the pros and cons of each type of surfacing used, including pulverized, aggregated, full depth reclamation, and tar and chip surfaces. He also spoke of the cold rolled recycled paving and noted it is a green initiative.

When the Town began using the cold rolled recycled process, one lift was used. Nepszy said staff members are finding that adding a second lift is better. This costs $105,000 to $115,000 per kilometre. Asphalt prices fluctuate, which that affects the bottom line, he noted.

The pros of using cold rolled recycled, Nepszy explained, is that it gives the road a little bit of structure and this process does not disturb the road. This is a new process to Essex.

“We are continually pushing to find something in between tar and chip and asphalt as asphalt is quite costly,” he said of this process.

The cons include there are application issues and it covers a hard surface.

At the Monday, July 16, 2018 regular meeting, the Council of the day tabled awarding the Request for Tender for the Gore Road (from Wright Road to Essex County Road 20) and Concession Road 8 (from Coulter Road to Ferris Road) rehabilitation to Norjohn Contracting and Paving Limited for $549,157, which was the sole bidder.

At the time, Councillor Randy Voakes had issues moving forward with the selected process because he believed it was not up to standard in the past and that if the specifications in the RFT were a little more open, there would have been more bidders.

At the Tuesday, August 7 meeting, a 3-4 majority vote passed the work to be done.

Councillors Bondy, Voakes, and Ron Rogers were opposed, and Councillors Snively (now Mayor) and Steve Bjorkman, and Deputy Mayor Meloche and then Mayor Ron McDermott were in favour. At the July 16, 2018 meeting, Snively said he would not support the process.

During the meeting last Wednesday, members of Council voiced dissatisfaction with how the roads turned out.

As far as Gore Road, because of timing construction delays on both ends, the final lift was put on too late, it was noted at the meeting. The weather was also cold, Nepszy explained.

Council also discussed other possibilities that could have led to a less than desirable result.

After the meeting, Councillor Sherry Bondy explained the roads were put in last fall. She said she has gotten many calls from residents in Wards 2 and 3 about problems with the roads. As a result, she been driving the road a lot. She thinks the base is the problem and is worried about the base on both roads and about water getting through the cold rolled recycled layer and affecting what is beneath.

The complaints started pretty early in the process ranging from the road’s shoulder, that it was unfinished, and that there is not enough base, she said.

On May 27 of this year, the contractor came back and fixed the Gore.

Mayor Snively said he voted for the cold rolled recycled, but is not happy with the product on the last pieces done of the Gore Road. He would like to see if the product holds up. He thinks Council should hold off on using this process until about three years have passed on what was just done.

Bondy has been compiling information regarding othermunicipalities that have used this process and intends on following up on that. She also thinks the Town may have to look at its tendering process to get projects out earlier.

Councillor Steve Bjorkman said the town has a small sample size of cold rolled product and the Town has had good results from the process in the past.

Deputy Mayor Meloche said he appreciated administration is looking for different ways to get road works done in a reasonable manner. He said the cold road is a reasonable price so long as the product stands up.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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