Council told it’s time to get busy on Lake Cowichan’s roads. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

Council told it’s time to get busy on Lake Cowichan’s roads. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

Lake Cowichan’s roads need assessing, so costly reconstruction can be avoided

Some work needs to be done soon or costs could skyrocket

Lake Cowichan’s roads are deteriorating and town council must come up with a systematic plan soon or the problem could become really expensive to fix, according to works superintendent Kam So.

It’s all part of asset management, he said at the Nov. 19 council public works and services (PWS) meeting.

“A well-maintained road network is vital to the movement of people to connect us with our neighbors and to facilitate the movement of goods to support the economy. Due to a variety of reasons such as weather conditions, amount of traffic and types of traffic, roads will eventually deteriorate and will need repair.”

There are generally three types of road maintenance:

Preventive maintenance: work done in the first five years to extend the life of pavements such as patching, joint sealing/ crack sealing, done by the PWS crew, will extend the life of roads, he said.

Resurfacing: a fresh layer of asphalt applied to the surface of the road to restore its structural integrity, can extend a pavement’s life span 10-15 years, preventing the need for costly reconstruction work.

Reconstruction: required when an overlay is not possible anymore. Construction costs are very expensive and there could be service disruptions. Reconstruction is required as the pavement has deteriorated to the point where the sub-base must be removed and replaced.

“A proper pavement management system should not allow pavement to reach this stage,” So said. “With a good road management strategy, roads should be consistently maintained by preventative maintenance and then an overlay every 10-15 years. The timing of the overlay should prevent any need for an expensive reconstruction.”

He suggested all roads in Lake Cowichan be rated from 10 (perfect) to 1 (very poor).

When the pavement reaches 6-7, a surface overlay should be considered and conducted but councillors have to remember “deterioration of pavement is not linear. For the first few years the pavement will show signs of deterioration very slowly, even slower with regular preventive maintenance. But, there is a trigger point in time where either an overlay should happen, or the pavement will significantly drop in condition.”

Larger jurisdictions have a database that manages roadway inventory and condition assessments but for a town with a small inventory, a complicated list is not necessary, he said.

The bad news is that “many of the roads in town are approaching a condition [where] resurfacing may not be possible anymore and a reconstruction is required.”

A resurfacing strategy must include a careful look at different classes of roads that would have different Level of Services (LOS), he said.

They would be ranked:

• arterial roads like North Shore Road would have the most traffic and heavier vehicles

• collector roads like Coronation Street would have medium traffic, with residential vehicles

• local roads like Nelson Road would have low traffic

Resurfacing of arterial roads would be prioritized over collector and local roads with condition also being a factor.

“Roads are deteriorating and we must start overlaying some roads before they reach the point of reconstruction. Depending on budget and funding, we should start conducting resurfacing road projects each year,” So said.

Even before they get into a thorough discussion, councillors said that Indian Road needs resurfacing and there are problems on River Road that need addressing. In the 100 Houses, there also could be the added cost of having to re-do underground services.

Town CAO Joe Fernandez said, “It’ll be a costly process,” but agreed that compiling a priority list would help councillors with budgeting.



lexi.bainas@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

This Earth Day, Cowichan Valley residents are being asked to clean up where they are. (File photo)
Cowichan ‘Clean Where You Are’ campaign starts on Earth Day

Take a bag, one glove, long tongs, and go pick up!

City of Duncan considering an average 3.51 per cent tax increase for 2021. (File photo)
Duncan considers average 3.51% tax increase for 2021

Homeowners would see a $43 increase over last year

North Cowichan councillor Kate Marsh. (File photo)
North Cowichan postpones decision on cell tower placement

But cell tower policy may be developed soon

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read