Increased asphalt cost could mean fewer roads paved

Cory Hurley cory.hurley@tc.tc
Published on May 27, 2014

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.