'Scandalous' road-paving work shows need for more city inspectors, says Projet Montréal

Projet Montréal's Luc Ferrandez calls for Montreal to hire more inspectors, pointing to three incidents in the last week — two water main breaks and a paving job that’s now being investigated by the city’s inspector general, Denis Gallant.

Opposition has taken complaints about 3 recent incidents to Montreal's inspector general

Projet Montréal's Luc Ferrandez pointed to this paving job at the corner of Mont-Royal Avenue and de Franchère Street as an example of the kind of shoddy work he says is being done around the city. (Shaun Malley / CBC)

Projet Montréal is condemning what it says is the shoddy work of a City of Montreal program that's responsible for paving roads, and says more inspectors are needed.

As evidence, the municipal opposition party's interim leader, Luc Ferrandez, pointed to three incidents in the last week — two water main breaks and another work site that's being investigated by the city's inspector general, Denis Gallant.

Ferrandez said the city's road resurfacing program uses substandard asphalt to fix potholes, failing to do more than provide band-aid solutions to continual problems.

"Work performed as part of this program isn't meant to last because it doesn't solve the problems at the base," Ferrandez said in a news release.

"Montrealers are paying more for work sites that go on forever unnecessarily, and it's scandalous," he said.

In one or two years, the potholes and cracks will be back, and the work will start again. We're throwing money out of the window.- Projet Montréal interim leader Luc Ferrandez

Ferrandez said contractors also charge the city double for the overtime required to fix problems they caused in the first place.

"This program can only serve to deepen Montrealers' cynicism. [They] have already had enough of potholes and endless road work," he said.

He said the city has to ensure that it has enough inspectors to monitor and report on every road project around Montreal.

Road work under investigation

Last Wednesday, Ferrandez filed a complaint with Gallant about asphalting work being done on Parc-La Fontaine Avenue.

"I saw a slab of cracked concrete and huge potholes simply disappear under a new layer of asphalt," Ferrandez said.

"In one or two years, the potholes and cracks will be back, and the work will start again. We're throwing money out of the window."

He said it reminded him of work that was done in Montreal North and Anjou in 2015. As a result of an investigation into that paving project, the inspector general ordered the suspension of a $3.5-million contract awarded to Laval's Demix Construction.

Gallant's report said the company didn't scrape off the old layer of asphalt before adding a new one.

Inspectors took photos showing Demix repaved Monselet and Prieur streets without filling in the large holes and cracks in the roads' foundations.


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