'Difficult' road construction season wraps up in Sudbury
Constant rain, early snowfall hampered work of road construction crews
From deep frost in the spring to a wet summer and an early start to winter, those who work in road construction are happy to see challenging 2014 season come to a close.
"It was one of the most difficult construction seasons with the inclement weather," said Kevin Shaw, the director of engineering services for the City Greater of Sudbury.
Some final work is still wrapping up in Sudbury. For example, crews have been paving amid the snow this week on Algonquin Road in Sudbury's south end.
"It's not the best to be paving in colder weather, but sometimes you get caught," Shaw said.
Projects on major thoroughfares such as the Kingsway, Municipal Road 80 and Regent Street are largely finished for the season, Shaw said, but work will continue in the spring.
This year was the perfect storm of difficult factors, according to the Ontario Road Builders Association. It said the frost caused problems this spring because it was much deeper than usual.
Road contractors then struggled with constant rain through the summer. The ORBA notes Sudbury saw no more than eight days in a row without rain. By Halloween there was snow on the ground and, because paving is usually the final phase of a project, it was difficult to wrap up work.
The ORBA said it advocates to move up the tender process for road construction projects to ensure work begins as early as possible in the spring.
Despite the challenges, Shaw said there should not be significant added costs to the city for the 2014 road construction season.
"The contractors, in the contract, have inclement weather days, so they are tied to so many working days. " he said. "And if they do run over we have measures in our contracts to compensate."