MTO indicates no deficiencies with work being carried out on Western Manitoulin highway

Concerns raised by residents with road conditions

WESTERN MANITOULIN – While several Western Manitoulin residents have raised concerns with the roadwork being carried out on Highway 540, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) indicates that the contractor has met requirements and specifications and the MTO has not observed any deficiencies.

“I live in Meldrum Bay and wonder if you guys are aware of the resurfacing of our road from Silver Water to Gore Bay, dangerous and very bad job, good luck getting an ambulance thru,” going on to name the contractor and asserting that “the township needs to get money back!” wrote Lynette Burton on Facebook, July 20. 

“Dangerous, scary and terrible,” were some of the other comments residents registered in regard to the road conditions. 

However, Carole Paiement, communications services co-ordinator with the MTO northeast operations, wrote in an email to the Recorder on July 28, “the main construction activities to resurface Highway 540 under contract 2019-5125 involve in-place processing (pulverizing), the addition of gravel and the application of a surface treatment driving course.” 

“In-place processing blends the existing asphalt surface treatment with the underlying granular material to form a rehabilitated base. This process re-uses material and increases the strength of the roadbed. Additional gravel is added to correct deficiencies. The pavement structure is then compacted. The application of service treatment involves spraying an emulsified asphalt, and then laying and packing cover aggregate into the emulsion.”

“The completion date for the contract is September 11,” said Ms. Paiement. She explained “traffic control includes daily single lane closures maintained by the use of traffic control persons and a pilot vehicle. The contractor’s traffic management plan has provisions to accommodate emergency medical services movement and to ensure unobstructed passage.”

“Ministry staff were on site the morning of Monday, July 27 and did not observe any issues with temporary conditions,” said Ms. Paiement. “Some loose gravel is expected after the surface course is applied while the curing process takes place. The road will be swept after curing is complete. The ministry will continue to monitor the condition of the construction area and address any concerns with the contractor.”

The work for contract 2019-5125 is still ongoing, continued Ms. Paiement. She added, “at this time, the contractor has met contract requirements and specifications. Ministry staff have not observed deficiencies to workmanship or materials. As mentioned, the ministry will continue to monitor the condition of the construction area and address any concerns with the contractor.”

The work includes resurfacing of Highway 540 from Kemp Lake Road, easterly for 13 kilometres, and Highway 540 from 1.1 km east of Blackburn Road, easterly for 5.5 kilometres. This includes in-place processing of the existing asphalt surface treatment, placing gravel, and the application of two layers of asphalt surface treatment on Highway 540. The contract also involves the application of a single layer of asphalt surface treatment on Highway 540 from 15.25 kilometres east of Meldrum Bay easterly 10 kilometres.