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Woolwich launches roads study

Hoping to spend a little now in order to save much more later on, Woolwich has hired an engineering firm to study the condition of its roads.

A comprehensive inventory and detailed analysis of current conditions will allow the township to develop a maintenance program to extend the lifespan of its roads. As well, the study will let staff know just how long they can put off major reconstruction work, director of engineering and planning Dan Kennaley told councillors meeting Tuesday night in Elmira.

With that in mind, council awarded an $80,000 contract to AECOM Canada Ltd.

Information gathered from the study, to be completed by year’s end, will assist the township with its long-range planning for major road work, he added.

“It will allow us to stay on top of pavement problems and drainage problems that potentially affect the condition of the roads.”

Greater maintenance today means putting off farther into the future big, expensive projects.

More than just a roads inventory, the study also comes with software and a database to that will allow the township to keep track of the condition of its roads going forward, Kennaley said in explaining the price tag.

“A survey of what we have – does it really have to cost that much, $80,000?” Coun. Mark Bauman had asked.

Given that the last roads study was carried out in 1990, the contract with AECOM should prove to be an investment with a big payoff.

“It will allow us to stay on top of pavement problems and drainage problems that potentially affect the condition of the roads,” said Kennaley in a later interview. “All of that is going to help us with determining our capital needs as far as the roads are concerned.”

A traffic count to be included as part of the study will be used to determine priorities for maintenance and reconstruction.

Currently, the township is home to approximately 345 kilometres of roadway, about 40 per cent paved, 40 per cent gravel and 20 per cent with other forms of surface treatments such as tar and chip.

For next year, Woolwich already has some major roadwork on the books.

Two projects valued at about $2.6 million apiece will take place in Elmira: the reconstruction of Snyder Avenue between Church and First streets; and reconstruction of a portion of Riverside Drive, Samuel, Herbert, William and Ann streets. Both have been promised money from the senior levels of government. The township will pay a third of the cost, with Ottawa and Queen’s Park each picking up a third, working out to $1,733,334.

Each of the senior governments will contribute $400,000 toward the resurfacing of Floradale Road and the rehabilitation of the Floradale Bridge, a project estimated to cost $1.2 million.

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