Council gets update on Highway 642

by Colin Smith

Alberta Transportation recognizes the rough condition of Highway 642 in Morinville is a problem and wants to fix it, but where and how are still uncertain.

At the request of Councillor Stephen Dafoe, Morinville Director of Public Works Claude Valcourt provided an update on the issue at the May 14 regular meeting of Town Council.

Valcourt said there has been an exchange of numerous emails and last Thursday Alberta Transportation representatives came out to take a firsthand look at the road, which is under provincial jurisdiction despite being Morinville’s main street.

They concluded that the stretch west of the traffic light is holding up well and may require nothing more than a seal coat, but east of the light the road has deteriorated and more extensive measures will be needed.

While department officials are looking to do something, exactly what or when is still up in the air, Valcourt indicated.

“They have a funding issue and processes need to be followed,” he said, adding that it’s not known why the common chip seal process used on Highway 642 in August did not work.

Chip seal involves a road being covered with a layer of gravel that is sealed with asphalt binder to hold it together and level the surface.

Chip seal coatings are generally expected to last 10 years, reducing maintenance costs to a tenth of what they would be the familiar asphalt overlay.

Mayor Barry Turner said use of the chip seal will not be acceptable for repair work on the road.

“I think whether or not the product worked is another story, but the product they chose is absolutely not acceptable,” he said.

“There have been so many broken windshields,” noted Dafoe. “The sooner the work is done the better.”

Valcourt indicated that he has requested that any work done on the road is done at night.

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    • Not a broken windshield, but that god awful tar on my car. Car washing and hand washing still hasn’t removed it.

    • we need a new windshield. Crack from side to side and a bunch of rocks chips but I’m not replacing it to have to do it again. The tar is ridiculous. They should be paying for all of us to take our vehicles in to get it cleaned off. A lady had posted she got a quote to get it taken off and for a small car $500. My whole truck is like sand paper there’s so much on it

  1. Saskatchewan tried this under their NDP government years ago and have you ever driven any secondary highways there??? They suck balls!!

  2. It’s even affecting home values. When someone from out of town comes to look at a home they have to travel this 1930’s depression era main road. Some just turn around and leave.

  3. Do ya think?? Can they paint a straight centre line on the west side as well before I hit someone head on for god sakes???!!!!

  4. Chip Seal that runs through the heart of a municipality—even if done correctly is absolutely unacceptable. I have no doubts Alberta Transportation knew nobody from the Town would sign off on this to begin with so they went ahead without permission under the guise that they would ask for forgiveness later. I’m glad Mayor Turner and Councillor Stephen Dafoe have drawn a line in the sand (or crushed gravel that sits on our main anterior road).

  5. What a joke….. the timing last year was too late in the Season to work on that type of repair. Now the road is falling apart. Some of the holes are ridiculous. Chips on windshields and dust for the next ten years lol. Enjoy your summer festivals somewhere else cause we can no longer use our so called “Main Street” anymore. Sad part is the road was in better condition before the repair. 👎😒👎

  6. What was the purpose of doing this besides all the great comments posted?
    Fr.. put it on my driveway..I could use the extra gravel on my dirt road 😄😄

  7. Welcome to Morinville. The only town in Canada that had the main road turned into a gravel road. Most places do it the other way around. The chip road did not hold up west of the lights it disappeared. I wonder if the unwashed rock they used had anything to do with the chip not hold. There are more issues to contend with that broken windows. There is dust and increase in road noise that people living along or near by have to contend with. I doubt the civil servant sent out to look at the road ever left his vehicle. Rest assured we are going to be stuck with a chip road through town. They say they do not know why the chip did not last, that there is a money issue, that they have a process to follow…all code for the chip will remain. The town is going to be stuck with this gravel road.

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