Report on Sparwood roads to come in the fall

The District of Sparwood is anticipating a Service Level Review on its various roads to be completed by the fall of 2015.

The District of Sparwood is anticipating a Service Level Review on its various roads to be completed by the fall of 2015.

The review will include the levels of service and the associated costs required to tend to the district’s 35 km of paved road and 10 km of gravel roads.

“What we are looking to do is prepare a report that outlines the cost of maintaining the roads at various levels of conditions and the costs associated with that as well as the capital that would be necessary to maintain the roads to keep them at that level,” explained Director of Engineering Danny Dwyer.

The review and subsequent sustainable roads program is moving forward following an October 2014 report to council on gravel road surfaces.

The study was budgeted following the delay in the Highway 3/43 intersection project and the lack of milling scheduled for 2015.

According to Dwyer, the district’s gravel roads will not be resurfaced with pavement due to insufficient base structures as well as the exorbitant costs.

Other surface treatment methods such as gravel with dust control, cold mix or millings are being explored.

Future plans for Sparwood’s paved roads will be determined via traffic volume, varying surface treatments across the roads and public opinion.

“Generally, the higher the standard, the higher the capital costs and the lower the maintenance costs,” said Dwyer’s report. “The choice that council will be asked to make is to strike the balance between capital cost expenditures versus maintenance and the public desire to have roads free of potholes and other imperfections.”

The depreciated value of Sparwood’s roads has fallen to approximately $15 million from its original 2008 construction value of approximately $54 million.

Pending the completion of the report, council unanimously approved the authorization to scarify the rough section of upper Matevic Road. Maintenance on Matevic Road through grading and dust control were also approved to move forward during 2015.

Residents along the road were promised upgrades would be made a year ago.

“For a number of years we have been really challenged by Matevic Road and the speed at which it has deteriorated,” noted Coun. Lois Halko. “We have received lots of feedback and concern from residents along Matevic Road regarding potholes and dust. If council could look at service levels along there that would be really advantageous.”