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Barrydowne frustrations should end today as work wraps up

The two-year complete reconstruction of a stretch of Barrydowne Road is expected to be completed on Friday, when the surface layer of asphalt will be installed on the northbound lanes, weather permitting
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A crew is seen working on the final surface layer of Barrydowne Road’s southbound lanes on Thursday before their anticipated shift to the northbound lanes on Friday, weather permitting, which will cap off the two-year project.

The bumper-to-bumper slow roll along Barrydowne Road is coming to a close this week as crews complete the final surface layer of asphalt – weather permitting.

The southbound lanes’ final layer of asphalt was compacted Thursday and the northbound lanes’ surface was anticipated Friday, which will cap off the two-year project.

Carrying a price tag of almost $6 million, the complete rebuild of Barrydowne Road, including curbs and sidewalks, started last summer, at which time COVID-related supply chain issues came into play and pushed its completion to this year.

Affecting north of Westmount Avenue to The Kingsway, the project included the replacement/relining of underground infrastructure and a complete rebuild of the road surface.

Walking Sudbury.com through the nearly completed construction site on Thursday, city engineering services director David Shelsted pointed out several approaches the contractor, Interpaving Ltd., has been undertaking with consultants Aecom. 

Joints in the pavement, where potholes are most likely to occur, have been lined up exactly with lines on the road, while a steady stream of work ensures there are as few joints as possible.

Pneumatic and steel drum rollers are always directly behind the rolling out of asphalt to ensure it gets compacted as soon as possible.

“You can only compact asphalt when it gets above a certain temperature, so it needs to occur right away, and that’s why you don’t really do winter paving, because it cools off too quickly,” Shelsted said. “Compaction is one of the biggest things for longevity of the asset, so it’s really important.”

With Barrydowne Road a major arterial road, he said the asphalt quality has been bumped up two grades to ensure it’s up to snuff for what it will need to face. Also in keeping with this goal, samples of the asphalt are being sent to a third-party lab for an evaluation of quality.

“We’re hitting the best quality so we can get the best life out of the products we have available,” Shelsted said.

The three-layer asphalt repaving is expected to last 20 years, at which time Shelsted said a less-extensive shave and pave project would extend its lifespan by another 12 to 15 years.

“During those 20 years we should also be doing crack sealing and other proper maintenance techniques,” he said. 

The underground infrastructure they renewed should carry a lifespan of at least 50 years, he said, adding that aside from the odd break that might happen, they shouldn’t be digging under the asphalt until that time.

Once Barrydowne Road is completed, road construction will shift to The Kingsway for a rebuild from Falconbridge Road to Silver Hills Drive. 

Similar to the Barrydowne Road project, the city’s rebuild of The Kingsway will stretch over two years, with all lanes made clear for traffic during the winter months. Unlike Barrydowne Road, the network of underground pipes along The Kingsway is less extensive, which should speed things up.

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for Sudbury.com.