Municipal Affairs
June 14, 2007

Town of Conche to Pilot New $500,000
Surface Sealing Technique on Gravel Roads

An innovative and cost-effective alternative to conventional asphalt technology will significantly improve roads in the Town of Conche.

The Honourable Jack Byrne, Minister of Municipal Affairs, announced the pilot project as a significant investment to infrastructure in the Straits & White Bay North region. The Provincial Government will cost share the $500,000 initiative to upgrade and pave the gravel road in the Town of Conche. The bituminous surface treatment (BST) has been used extensively on the Alaskan Highway, and has recently been tested on the Trans Labrador Highway. It has significantly reduced construction costs and prolonged the life of the roads.

"I am encouraged by the development of a pilot project for road development that uses a modern method for preserving our communities´┐Ż roads," said Minister Byrne. "This is an investment that will serve the people of the Town of Conche, but will also provide important process information on alternative asphalt technology so we may better utilize similar projects around Newfoundland and Labrador. We will gauge the successful application of this new sealing process, and encompass it into future projects wherever possible."

The BST application uses a cold liquid asphalt emulsion which is applied to the gravel surface and overlayed with a uniformly graded crushed rock aggregate to complete the surface. The cost of a double bituminous surface treatment is estimated at 50 to 70 per cent of that of conventional asphalt. This initiative is part of a roads project being carried out by the Department of Transportation and Works which includes treatment of a total of 10 km of roads at a total cost of $1.0 million.

"Good roads are essential to the economy of a region," said Honourable Trevor Taylor, MHA for the Straits & White Bay North. "The Town of Conche has been lobbying for pavement for their community for quite some time and I am very pleased that we are able, through this pilot project, to provide the town with a positive response to that request while providing some much needed employment in the area."

This project is supported under the 2007-08 Municipal Capital Works Program which will invest $34.2 million into municipal infrastructure throughout the province. The provincial contribution to the program is $22.2 million this year, with 93 per cent of the infrastructure investments in rural areas.


Media contact:
Heather MacLean
Director of Communications
Department of Municipal Affairs
709-729-1983, 690-2498

2007 06 14                                                  9:45 a.m.


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