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Committee approves plan to upgrade gravel back lanes

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Homeowners upset with the condition of their gravel backlanes could get options for an upgrade.

The public works committee this afternoon approved a plan to upgrade gravel back lanes to asphalt.

However, 60 per cent of homeowners within a block will have to agree and they’ll have to pick up the cost.

Brad Sacher, director of public works, said the city’s existing gravel maintenance program isn’t effective. Lanes redone with gravel one year usually deteriorate within two years, he said.

The city was upgrading gravel lanes to concrete, Sacher said, but the cost was expensive and the city often unable to secure the 60 per cent support within a block necessary to get the work done as a local improvement.

Sacher suggested offering upgrades to asphalt. It cost less than half of the cost for concrete -- $125 per square metre for asphalt compared to $300 per square metre for concrete – and lasted almost as long, 25 years for asphalt, 35-40 years for concrete.

The committee supported an amendment from Coun. Dan Vandal to subsidize the cost of asphalt upgrades by 50 per cent, up to a total annual maximum of $1 million, with the money allocated from the annual gravel maintenance budget.

The subsidy would be on a three-year trial basis.

The changes still need to be approved by executive policy committee and council.

 

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

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