Puslinch to resurface part of Concession 7

PUSLINCH – Part of Concession 7 here will soon be paved.

At a meeting on Aug. 11, Puslinch council accepted a staff recommendation to move forward with the resurfacing of the gravel road, along a stretch of the road between Concessions 1 and 2.

Council also directed staff to work with the township’s engineer on the design, in order for construction to begin in 2022. A list was compiled of gravel roads suitable for resurfacing, from which council would select one.

“With any type of prioritization, there will be disappointment for those on the roads that did not get selected,” said councillor Jessica Goyda. “But the way I look at it is, this is a great start, and it allows for the highest amount of savings for the long term.”

Criteria for resurfacing included:

– daily car count;

– subbase integrity;

– culvert and ditching conditions; and

– monthly maintenance.

Hard surfacing would only be considered if average daily traffic exceeded 400 vehicles and if full re-grading was completed more than six times during two consecutive non-winter periods.

Other factors the township used to determine whether or not a road should be resurfaced included high maintenance costs of the existing gravel road, sightlines at intersections and driveways, alignment of the road and associated speed limits, current infrastructure on the road such as bridges or culverts, and number of residential properties.

Mayor James Seeley said he was surprised to find out how significant the costs of maintaining the road had been.

“The word on the street was that gravel roads were very expensive to maintain, but then to see the actual numbers, I didn’t realize how many times we had to grade Concession 7 due to the traffic volume,” Seeley said.

Several roads within the municipality had been considered for resurfacing, but a report from township staff noted Concession 7 was the only road that met all criteria.

Typically hard-surface roads last 15 to 20 years before they require resurfacing. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $287,525. However, the report states that in the long-term, the township will save money by paving the road. If Concession Road 7 were to be left as a gravel road, it would cost an estimated $584,000 over 20 years to maintain it (over $29,000 annually).

“We currently apply around $15,000 worth of dust control (each year), which I can honestly admit some years doesn’t even get us through a full summer,” said Mike Fowler, director of public works, parks and facilities.

“That’s due to the heavy traffic flow that just pounds the calcium right out of the surface material. So, by taking this step to consider hard surfacing, a lot of money will be saved in operational costs.”