City planning 200 projects this year, leading to longer-lasting roads

You don’t have to tell Jubilee Avenue homeowner John Haynes road construction season is in full swing.

The stretch of Jubilee Avenue near his house is undergoing major surgery, causing some disruptions.

“Very noisy, very noisy – lots of traffic backups,” said Haynes

The crews are digging down deep to overhaul the road. Haynes said the inconvenience is worth it to fix all of the streets in disrepair.

“They’re in a very bad shape, every neighborhood I go to is very, very bad,” he said.

With financial help from the federal and provincial governments, the City of Winnipeg has planned 200 projects this year worth $165 million, totaling 175 kilometers of lanes.

On top of this, the final products might last longer.

“In addition to making the investments, we want to make sure that we’re getting the value for those investments,” said Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman.

Because of work in a lab at the University of Manitoba, the city said the lifecycle of roads has increased by 15 per cent.

Civil Engineering Professor Ahmed Shalaby said his group has been fine-tuning the materials used to give roads two more years of use.

“Compared to specifications of the City of Winnipeg about five or ten years ago, we’re using now materials that are stronger and drain better,” said Shalaby.

Shalaby said this might cost more upfront, but it saves money down the road.

“It’s only for one or two years, after which price comes down, and then we get the benefit of the longer service life,” said Shalaby.

He said his group is also experimenting with the ability to pave in cold climate, to push construction season a couple more weeks in November.

John Haynes would like to see the lives of streets stretched out so fewer repairs are needed.

“Because less construction would be better,” Haynes said. “We’re known for three seasons and one is construction (season) and that’s no good.”

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