Manitoba

Asphalt or concrete? Winnipeg councillor wants firm answers on better road material

Winnipeg Coun. Matt Allard wants city bureaucrats to answer a burning question - is asphalt or concrete the better road material?

Coun. Matt Allard asks for report on materials after decision to use asphalt on Lagimodiere road work

Concrete, Coun. Matt Allard was told by city engineers, is better for some projects for technical reasons. City staff also told the public works committee life-cycle costs for asphalt are often less than those for concrete. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

It may not solve Winnipeg's road condition problems, but St. Boniface Coun. Matt Allard wants to know which is better  material — asphalt or concrete.

It's not just a rhetorical question — Allard asked for a report on the subject from city bureaucrats at Wednesday's meeting of the public works committee.

The query was prompted by a decision to use the softer, more pliable asphalt for road work at Lagimodiere Boulevard and Fermor Avenue.

"What we heard is asphalt is almost always cheaper, in terms of the cost today and also maintenance costs. So that's what we want to get in writing," Allard said after the meeting.

"I had some questions from my colleagues, so I want to get the answers."

City engineers will report back to St. Boniface Coun. Matt Allard in four months on the hard-and-fast of concrete versus asphalt. (Sean Kavanagh/CBC )

Concrete, Allard was told by city engineers, is better for some projects for technical reasons. City staff also told the committee life-cycle costs for asphalt are often less than those for concrete.

Allard wants to know specifically where concrete is more appropriate to use than its malleable road surface cousin.

"Road construction is like an art and a science, and [there's] the Winnipeg gumbo, winter, freeze-thaw environment — I think if you are looking for a black-and-white answer, I don't know that you will get one," Allard said.

City staff have four months to give some concrete answers.

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