© Times-Herald photo by Lisa Goudy
As seen this week, Coteau Street West is closed from Eighth Avenue Southwest to Ninth Avenue Southwest for sewer and water repairs.
If everything goes as planned, this year’s road repair should be done in November.
“As long as October and November are milder … with no snow, we should be able to achieve almost our target and we got a late start,” said Duane Grado, public works manager. “We got more snow than we ever saw, but if Mother Nature works with us we should be 80, 90 per cent accomplished. We won’t get 100 per cent. We know that.”
He said the city has a number of ongoing road repair projects.
“We’re rehabilitating entire streets and then coming through with a layer of brand new asphalt,” said Grado. “Those projects we call the road rehabilitation under the capital plan.”
He said the city is getting close to 70 per cent done this year’s projects. He said the city has done approximately 20 average blocks so far.
He estimated there are between six and eight streets left to do in 2013.
Some of those streets include those in Grayson Business Park by Westrum Lumber stretching up to Tim Hortons as well as the 500 block of High Street West.
Another project is patching. He said there are 150 more patches to do.
“Throughout the city, everyone’s noticed that there’s big patches on the roadways,” said Grado. “It’s where we’ve had water main breaks and some service connection leaks and blockages. We are doing those too.”
For the first time, the city hired contractor Cypress Paving to help city crews on the big patches.
“We’re sure hoping that we get these holes filled … We try our darndest to get them done in a one-year period,” said Grado. “As we speak, I’m digging another hole. So we will never get all the holes that we dig in a year done, but we will get the oldest ones first.”
He added the ones that won’t get filled this year would have more gravel added to make it safe for driving and solid for the winter.
The third program is dealing with potholes, which he said are being “dealt with by small crews.” He said the city has about one and a half crews instead of two because there is less daylight.
“We only have one pothole machine that keeps the hot asphalt hot at 300 degrees,” said Grado. “We’ve got a lot to do, but we’re done the busiest streets. We’re kind of in the middle of the streets that we call Priority 2 — bus routes and collector streets.”
He said the city does the “really, really bad ones” first before going back to the priority streets.
Right now crews are working from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., but soon the hours will change to 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“As the season goes on, we lose the daylight and you just can’t do potholes when it’s dark out,” said Grado. “So we’re reducing that, but we will optimize on it as much as we can, weather permitting. We’re hoping we can do potholes right until November so we’ll get caught up on those.”
The pothole crews have been dealing with going back to certain streets multiple times because the cold mix has been coming out.
“The weather that we had over the winter — that being the wetness, the amount of snow, the late spring and even right up until almost May with snow — it created a lot of havoc with the roads,” said Grado. “Some of the potholes with cold mix started coming out in June, then we fixed them and we kept going down the roads.
“Then, uh oh, some more cold mix is coming out. We might even have to go back to that street again.”
He said crews could repair potholes with the hot mix until it gets to -10 Celsius every day.
“As long as it’s not freezing real bad at night we’re OK,” said Grado. “We will optimize, though, on our cold mix if we have to on a lot of these repairs, even if just to stabilize them during the winter.”
Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.