Winter weather hammers county roads with major repairs coming to Amherstburg road



The stretch of Howard Ave. (County Road 9) will be repaved this year by the County of Essex at an estimated cost of $600,000.

The stretch of Howard Ave. (County Road 9) between Middle Side Road (County Road 10) and Alma St. will be repaved this year by the County of Essex at an estimated cost of $600,000.

By Ron Giofu


The harsh winter the region has experienced in 2013-14 has had a major impact on the Essex County road network.

Not only did winter control costs go well over budget, the cold conditions have required two new road upgrade projects be added for 2014 including a stretch of Howard Ave. in Amherstburg.

County engineer Tom Bateman noted that extended periods of sub-zero temperatures drove frost deep in to the road base to depths of greater than 36-inches. Record snowfall, he added, required continuous winter control operations from December to mid-March.

“It certainly taxed the budget without a doubt,” said Bateman.

Bateman forecast that the final 2014 winter control total will be in the range of $3.5 million with $2.5 million being budgeted. He noted the winter control department received an extra $500,000 from a budgeted rate stabilization allocation meaning that there will be roughly $500,000 in expenditures over and above the county’s budget.

The stretch of Howard Ave. that will see pavement recycling and asphalt overlay will be from County Road 10 (Middle Side Road) to Alma St. Bateman estimated the cost for that stretch at $600,000.

The other road that will now be done as well will be County Road 14 from County Road 31 to Graham Side Road in Kingsville. The estimated value of that project is $642,000.

To help cover costs of these new projects, a pair of bridge projects – neither of which were near Amherstburg – were deferred until 2015.  One bridge project is valued at $425,000 and the other project was estimated at $558,000.

Bateman noted that it is projected that $759,000 will be drawn from the county’s rate stabilization reserve with the final amount of funding to be determined upon completion of the winter control program for the year.

Essex Deputy Mayor Richard Meloche wondered if the problem with Howard Ave. lies deeper than just the surface work.

“Are we sure it’s not the road bed that needs work?” he asked.

Bateman said the key to the recycle and overlay process is to seal the cracks to avoid moisture from penetrating. He said the aggregate depth underneath the roadway is fine.

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