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.