Cheaper chipseal abandoned because 'it doesn't last.'

City to fight potholes with asphalt assault


Spine-busting car rides are a fact of life during the summer months in Iqaluit, as the spring melt carves miniature riverbeds through the dirt roads and, in some places, leaves potholes as wide as the cars themselves.

But that may change under an ambitious paving plan the city wants to start this summer. It could see up to 20 of the capital's 28 kilometres of unpaved roads topped with three inches of asphalt.

Four high-traffic sections of road, a total of three kilometres will be paved this summer: the Road to Nowhere and Lake Subdivision, parts of Happy Valley and Tundra Valley that connect the neighbourhoods to through roads, and a U-shaped section that passes by the Snack and curves its way past the library and museum.

John Hussey, the city's chief administrative officer, said those four sections don't need any upgrades before city crews slap down a layer of asphalt.

"They're ready to go," he said.

Iqaluit Mayor Elisapee Sheutiapik said some older roads that need paving will have to wait because they need grading and culverts installed before the asphalt can be laid down.

"We have to do it strategically," she said.

The money comes from the federal Building Canada fund ($1.6 million) and a capital funding agreement the city signed with the Government of Nunavut earlier this year ($2.4 million). Under the terms of the Building Canada fund, the city must also chip in $400,000.

If there's money left over, council has a list of four other sections of road it would like to see paved, including downtown streets near the justice centre and city hall, the road passing in front of Inuksugait plaza, a section of Federal Road out by Baffin Correctional Centre and part of the West 40 road out by the foot of the airport runway.

Hussey said the city will not repeat its experiment with chip seal used on the road to Apex. The thin mixture of asphalt and small rocks is cheaper to apply than standard paving, but large sections of the road, paved in 2006, have already started to break down.

"It didn't last," Hussey said.

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