In the past few weeks The Current has received several complaints from Paugh Lake Road residents and users criticizing the quality of the resurfacing work. (Photo Facebook/Madawaska Valley) These included an email from an individual who said he had experience in such work stating the following:
“I have been involved in road construction and re-construction work for over 35 years and I have never experienced such poor quality workmanship or lack of disregard for municipal, county and provincial specifications.
- Asphalt work under cold conditions never produces a quality job. The contractor was forced to pave due to impending weather at the end of the construction season.
- This project scope of work should have been completed in about 12 weeks by a qualified and competent crew. Not the almost 18 months of disruptions to local residents and Town staff who fielded the complaints about the road conditions throughout the prolonged duration.
- Under the OPSS and OPSD specifications, top coarse paving should not commence unless temperatures are +7*C and rising. Temperatures during this job some days were -5 C and never reached +7*C. The contractor scraped snow from frozen roads to lay asphalt.
- The asphalt plant used by this contractor was in the Pembroke area and was well over an hour away by truck, causing the asphalt to cool in the box of the trucks, this caused cold asphalt sections and surface defects in the “Matt” like segregation and or bumps. Drive the road, it’s like a wash board surface.
- Paving in cold conditions is normally supervised full time during paving operations by a qualified Geotechnical engineer to monitor asphalt temperatures, sampling/testing and compaction testing, and document site conditions, none was observed onsite, If so, let’s see that documentation?
- Long sections were paved forward (up to a km) before the equipment backed up to pull the other lane, causing “cold joints” which causes longitudinal cracking or opening up along the joint. Asphalt resurfacing projects similar to this, owners expect to get a 20-25 year service life of the pavement, I would think the life cycle of this project would be half this.
The deficiencies are already visible in the entire 10km section of the project, very disappointing. Let’s hope the municipality have not released all of the funds to cover repairs or replacement/repaving of the road.
Has the municipality hired an outside firm to conduct a full assessment of the asphalt surface, including cores of the road to verify thickness and full asphalt marshall mix design testing/analysis by a 3rd party qualified laboratory? This reporting should verify that the asphalt material meets the project specifications noted in the contract.“
On February 9, 2021 The Current contacted Madawaska Valley Operations Manager Hilary Kutchkoskie, as well as Councillor Carl Bromwich who chairs the Operations Committee, notifying them of these complaints. We received a same day reply from Kutchkoskie saying he was in communication with the engineers and would bring a report to Council.
If any other users of Paugh Lake Road have observations to make, they should forward them direct to Kutchkoskie.