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Here's how the city is spending $10M in surprise federal funding (Hint: mostly on roads)

A big chunk of the funding is being spent on Kingsway and Regent, two roads on this year's CAA Worst Roads list
Road Work Ahead shutterstock

News earlier this spring that Greater Sudbury was receiving twice its normal share of gas tax revenue from the federal government led city council to earmark the more than $10 million for roadwork.

The city didn't say if the CAA's annual Worst Roads list results influenced which roads to spend money on, but two of the streets slated to eat up a big chunk of that $10 million appeared on the list this year. 

A report headed to city council June 11 outlines where staff is recommending the money be spent. The biggest single project is $2.1 million to resurface Regent Street between York Street and Walford Road. The report also recommends spending $2 million on Barrydowne Road between Westmount Avenue and Hawthorne Drive.

A total of $1.8 million would also be spent on fixing the Kingsway between Silver Hills and Bancroft Drive. Together, that's $5.6 million of the funding, covering 13.4 kilometres of roadway.

“This road repair strategy is required at this time to reduce the expected extensive road maintenance requirements along these sections,” the report said. “These cost-effective repairs will extend the useful life of the road until such time we are in a position to either replace or rehabilitate the underground infrastructure.”

While the repairs don't last as long as full road rebuilds, the surface treatments can be done relatively quickly, the report said, minimizing delays to motorists.

Other roads considered for the funding, and ones at the top of the priority list for next year, include:

  • Frood Road (MR42) from Elm St to College St ($900,000)
  • Old Highway 17 (MR55) from Horizon Drive to Koti Road ($800,000) 
  • Old Highway 69 (MR80) from North of Maley Drive to McCrea Heights ($2,000,000) 
  • Ramsey Lake Road (MR39) from Paris Street to South Bay Road ($1,600,000) 
  • Skead Road (MR86) from MR85 to Airport Terminal Drive ($1,900,000)

With the remainder of the gas tax funds, the report recommends $3.6 million go to existing projects to cover the costs of higher-than-expected bids for road work, which are coming in 10-20 per cent higher than expected.

“For example, the local road rehabilitation contracts closed at a cost of $5.2 million and the budget for this program is $4 million,” the report said. “The contract for Elm Street and Beatty Street closed at a cost of $5.1 million and the budget is $3.8 million. These are the extreme examples.”

The report also recommends $700,000 be set aside for now while staff look into a new proposal it received from a contractor that uses recycled asphalt to rejuvenate existing roads, a process called hot in-place recycling (HIR).

“This process reworks the top 40 to 50 mm of the asphalt, and it is appropriate for roads that do not have significant cracking or structural deficiencies,” the report said.
It can extend the life of a road by seven to nine years, depending how heavily the road is used.

“To allow staff time to review the HIR technology, it is recommended that the remaining $700,000 of the gas tax funding not be allocated to a specific location at this time,” the report said. “Staff will report back to operations committee with a suggested location or locations where a pilot project can be tendered with HIR option, with the intent to utilize the remaining $700,000 gas tax funding.”


Darren MacDonald

About the Author: Darren MacDonald

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