Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Region of Durham has hired environmental engineering consultant Malroz Engineering Inc. to take samples of recycled materials used in the road base on the Newtonville Road rehabilitation pilot project, after residents say they found syringes, batteries and other “toxic waste” spread on the road.
“We are taking the concerns brought forward on this project seriously, which is why we immediately paused the project and hired a third party to test the road materials,” said John Presta, Commissioner of Works, Region of Durham. “This is a pilot project that has a goal of looking for innovative ways to reuse recycled municipal material, while also protecting the environment.
“The project is following our guiding principles to apply innovative approaches to Regional waste streams to manage them as resources, while also improving our environmental footprint.”
A 3.6-kilometre stretch of Clarington’s Newtonville Road was the site of an innovative project that uses recycled materials to reconstruct part of the road. Work was paused after concerns came to council, and the consultant was retained to “verify the content of recycled materials utilized in the granular base samples”.
The verification process will “take time” to allow a thorough review, the region said in an update.
Although the paving of phase two has been put on hold, Dufferin Construction will remain on site to complete other parts of the reconstruction project, to ensure the road can be safely used during, and after, this third-party verification process.
More information can be found on the project page at durham.ca\NewtonvilleRoad.
Road work was to be split into two phases that would help assess and evaluate the performance of traditional and recycled materials. Phase one was completed with traditional construction materials.
The goal of exploring the use of blue box materials in road reconstruction projects, according to a staff report, is to reuse about 400 tonnes of recycled glass from blue box collections in the granular base, and approximately six tonnes of recycled plastics from blue box collections, and 4.5 tonnes of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fibres made from recycled plastics in the asphalt.
If successful, using recycled materials from blue box collections (Phase two) could help reduce the volume of aggregate materials mined and trucked in for road construction, while possibly increasing the strength, durability and overall pavement life cycle of the road network.