It’s a go for chip-seal rebuild of Apex Road


Iqaluit residents will see work crews do a complete rebuild along a 1.3 km stretch of the Apex Road this summer, including new culverts and ditches, thanks to the completion of a long sought-after contract between the City of Iqaluit and Nunavik’s Kativik Regional Government.

Using local equipment and labour, the KRG will use a low-cost chip-seal technique similar to one used in Kuujuaq’s recent road-paving program. They’ll use chip-seal to coat the surface of the rebuilt road from the intersection near the T. Fox Graphics building to the Apex bridge.

The city and the GN will share the cost of the project, budgeted at $549,987 through Iqaluit’s five-year capital plan.

Mark Hall, the City of Iqaluit’s director of public works, told Iqaluit city councillors this week that the city, and the Government of Nunavut, are treating the work as an experimental pilot project. Both governments hope that chip-sealing, with an estimated cost of about $180 a metre, will prove to be a lot cheaper than asphalt paving.

The spending that city councillors approved this week will also be used to re-surface about 1.6 km of road surface in an area with flat, high-volume streets, but city councillors still have to decide where.

City administrators proposed chip-sealing for about 1.6 km of road surface in Apex, but Coun. Claude Martel and Deputy Mayor Glenn Williams shot down that idea, saying they can’t justify it to ratepayers in Iqaluit who have put up with bad roads for years.

Hall said he’ll prepare a proposal for the Iqaluit portion of the chip sealing project for the Tuesday public works committee meeting next week.

A “chip-seal” is a type of road surface made with a layer of binder, or emulsion, which is sprayed onto the road bed, then covered with a layer of gravel chips and rolled flat.

Chip sealing is now mainly used to extend the life of asphalt paving, but was first developed in the 1920s as a way of improving gravel roads. The technique reduces dust and helps prevent the road surface from being washed away.

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