Increased asphalt cost could mean fewer roads paved

Cory Hurley
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With only so much money allocated for paving this year, a big increase in the cost of asphalt for the City of Corner Brook will put a dent into just how much work can be done.

That is a big concern for Coun. Tony Buckle.

At Monday evening’s public meeting, the supply of hot mix surface asphalt was approved to be awarded to Marine Contractors at the price of $186.45 per tonne. It is about a $50 per tonne increase from last year, up 37 per cent.

Marine Contractors is the only bidder in the process, something Buckle attributes to the problem the city is now facing.

“If we had a bit more competition here, maybe it would drive the price of it down,” he said.

With a $3 million paving budget, it can only lead to the purchase of so much asphalt.

“It will mean a few less roads are going to get done,” he said. “I guess we will have to spread it a little bit farther, but we can only make it a certain thickness.

“Some roads we planned to get done this year, may not get done.”

The quality of asphalt has been an ongoing issue in the province — and throughout Atlantic Canada — in recent years. Many roads are paved one year, and in disrepair again in a year or two. Buckle said this year’s asphalt is a provincial mix, which he hopes will be a good quality.

“Nobody can figure out what is going on with the pavement here in the city or anywhere,” he said.

He admits he wouldn’t mind the additional cost if the quality was significantly better.

Organizations: Marine Contractors

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Atlantic Canada

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Recent comments

  • Stir The Pot
    May 27, 2014 - 13:49

    Only 1 bidder? Oh well looks like Main Street will get paved again this year, and the next year and the next. All the other roads are like driving in Beirut. Our infrastructure is like that of a third world country. Where are our tax dollars going? Oh right a city hall big enough for a city the size of St. John's, an artificial soccer pitch that only elite kids can play on, Pepsi center that can't get a band to play here unless they are on a retirement tour, a new city depot etc etc... makes anyone cynical of whoever gets in power of running this city.

    • max
      May 27, 2014 - 17:20

      Where do you propose the money go to? We paid next to nothing for city hall it was mostly federal money not to mention a new library in there. Seems like whatever is done in this city people will complain no matter what. The city isn't responsible for getting bands to play in the Pepsi center, the mgmt of the Pepsi center is and by the way cb doesnt support anything unless its free. Do you think a major band will play in the tiny Pepsi center.....if they do they will charge top dollar and yeah you guessed it, corner brookers will complain about that.

  • Jack
    May 27, 2014 - 11:49

    When Corner Brookers elected a fresh new council last year, these new council members promised major change. However, in light of Corner Brook City Council's laziness, including failure to re-tender the contract to allow more competitions, this city has not changed at all. So far, Tony Buckle failed Corner Brookers not once, but twice. First he fails to address the Corner Brook Transit issue and now he is making the city resident's suffer with accepting a tender for paving work with a $50.00 per tonne increase. If Mr. Buckle has an intelligence whatsoever, the best policy is to re-tender the paving work to allow more competitors such as Humber Valley Paving (not recommended) or other contractors. With Tony Buckle making problems worse for Corner Brook, perhaps now is the time to remove him from office before the 2017 Civic Elections or Corner Brook City Council will not keep their promise to make life more affordable and economically viable for the city.

  • George Murphy
    May 27, 2014 - 09:30

    I'm dropping you a quick note to give my opinion on the story as regards to rising costs of asphalt and hence, rising costs of road maintenance. If there's anything we have in this province it's the ability to show intrepidity and ingenuity in the face of any obstacle. I keep trying to reinforce the fact that it doesn't have to be this way, that we have to pay rising costs for something so important. That we do have ways of making costs for roads more affordable. Every day, consumers pay $3 a tire whenever they buy new rubber. When tirs get worn, they go to recycling, all collected by the MMSB to be finally shipped off to some plant in Quebec where they are burned...Yes, burned! Tires should be recycled and mixed with road asphault to turn into roads that require less maintenance and repair. Added rubber means less asphalt needed, and also results in an estimated $6 million less in costs to taxpayers for shipping the product off to Quebec to someone else's benefit. It also means very important green jobs and a healthier environment. There are better ways. We just have to use our own "resources" to overcome the problems we have beneath our feet. High costs can be controlled and jobs created in the meantime. Regards, George Murphy NDP MHA St. John's East Critic for Environment and Conservation, Transportation and Works, Municipal affairs

    • Wayne R Bennett
      May 27, 2014 - 10:49

      Very good point George. I wonder why MMSB is not parting with a paving company to even test market this concept. Wayne R Bennett

    • george p b
      May 29, 2014 - 16:55

      This concept is proven technology....It has been tested & did OK in Colorado....Yes here is an opportunity.....

  • Marys opinion
    May 27, 2014 - 09:01

    Councillor Buckle we elected you and council to repair our roads. What's going on down there? Every year roads and infrastructure are getting worst. Now you blame escalating costs of pavement. I've got news for you we have been told that for years... pavement is expensive. Is that your answer to our crumbling infrastructure. City hall is a complete waste of time and money.... I am off to trade my beat up car on a Jeep or heavy duty pick up as this is the only answer to Corner Brook streets for years to come...

    • max
      May 27, 2014 - 13:04

      Sorry to tell you Mary but it doesnt matter what you drive. Sounds like the CB mentality " why is he slowing down for that pothole in a big truck?" When will we ever catch up to the rest of the world i wonder?