A NUMBER of downtown streets will be closed off tonight so that asphalt can be stripped in preparation for a new layer of pavement.
Starting at 9 p.m. a milling machine will strip Lakelse from Eby St. to Emerson St., Sparks St. from Lazelle Ave. to Lakelse Ave. and Kalum St. from Lakelse Ave. to Park Ave.
“The milling machine is more precise and it only takes asphalt it doesn’t actually grind it into the road base,” said city roads foreman Henry Craveiro of what’s involved.
While the machine will strip a top layer asphalt, the city will try something different before applying a new layer.
“We”ll apply a glass grid to the paved asphalt and then we will pave over top of that,” said Craveiro. “What the glass grid is supposed to do is reinforce all that stuff below.”
The glass grid is made of a material more like fibre glass, he explained, adding that it acts as a brace for the material underneath it so that cracks from layers of pavement below don’t show up on the surface as easily.
“We hope to see a lot less cracks reflecting through the old asphalt to the new,” he said.
In all, money spent on the fibreglass netting rings in at roughly $80,000 — but Craveiro said he hopes this will save money in the long run.
“The only way to really get rid of (cracks) is to pull the base out,” he explained. “There’s no way we could shut down the downtown for that amount of time.”
The streets being milled will see the glass grid, and they and a few others are still left to be paved before the summer’s end.
Paved already this year are two blocks of Straume from Kalum to Eby, Agar from Kenney to Braun, and McConnel from Marshall to Kalum Lake Dr., which were tackled by a pulverizer earlier this year. The pulverizer also puts down a new base.
Still to be resurfaced are sections of Greig and Appsley.
A full rebuild on a Scott Ave. block. is also slated for this summer, but will likely wait until other work has been completed.
“We are trying to get it started before the end of the month,” said Craveiro.
In all, the city roads budget is $2.1 million and it will result in more than five kilometres of repaved road.