Castlegar city council, on January 7, received the Asphalt Assessment and Capital Paving Plan as information and consideration for the next budget deliberations.
“We made a recommendation that we step up to the plate on our paving,” said councillor Kevin Chernoff, who is also the chair of the transportation and civic works committee. “It’s one of those items we tend to usually do the hacking to when we do budgets, and it’s getting behind. I think, like most municipalities we tend to leave that, but I think it’s one of the most important things as a municipality that we look after,” the councillor continued. “So we made a recommendation that we follow a five-year plan and part of a $575,000 commitment every year for the next three years for the start of this plan. This’ll allow us some savings over awarding a three-year contract to a paving company. If we’re doing sewer or water work under the asphalt, we can re-pave those areas at the same time without having to wait a year to discuss it at the next budget. It just allows us to run more efficiently than we have been.”
In 2012, the city hired LVM Consultants to perform a complete asphalt condition assessment, which will provide Civic Works with updated information to complete road replacement plans.
Every road was assessed and broken down and graded for defects such as rutting, cracking and potholes.
“All the roads were graded from 1 to 10, with 1 being the worst,” said Chernoff. “We’re not bad. We’ve got some that are 1.9s and run up as high as 7. The lower numbered roads are the ones we’ll attack first. We also have to factor in if we’re doing water or sewer work underneath. That could delay some of the worst roads for a year. It just allows us to do that efficiently.”
Since 2004, the city of Castlegar has experienced a considerable increase in the cost of asphalt replacement.
In 2012, the cost was $35 per metre squared. The total value of paving was $51,000. In 2011, the cost per metre squared was the same, but the total value was $603,000. In 2004, the per metre squared cost was only $12.18 and the total value of paving was $497,000.
The lowest graded roads in Castlegar to be repaired this year are 9th Avenue at 6th Street at 0.3 and 9th Avenue at 3rd Street and 4th Street at 0.7.
The cost of replacing the roads in 2013 are set at $24,291 for 9th and 6th, and $33,568 for 9th and 3rd/4th.
Chernoff says it’s important to not just fix the roads which are in rough shape, but also maintain the other roads.
“Once you get behind the eight ball you never get caught up,” he said. “Like most municipalities, this is one of those places where, as more stuff comes to council, we have to focus on our basics. As far as I’m concerned this is one of our most important items. Our infrastructure is good here, because our departments do a really good job of monitoring them and we assess them on a regular basis and try to devote the attention they require.”