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Much of Toronto's "road repairs" seem bogus. Look more closely at what is being done...

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
As many of you know, I bike around the city a lot. For the most part, I ride around the fluorescent bollards and past the pothole police making $68 an hour and don't actually look at what the road work is actually about. It is probably the same with people driving cars in Toronto who are so pissed off with the jammed up traffic due to road works sites that they never really glance at what is going on at the site as they drive by.

Lately, I have been looking more closely at some of these sites and it seems to me that much if it is bogus - where holes are dug and filled in again, replacing previous holes which had been poorly filled in. Great big square swatches of road are being excavated to a depth of 6" or so, especially near street corners, to replace earlier smaller road cuts.

Or huge square areas of road surface (5 square metres or more) are being removed to replace less than 10 square cm of crumbled pavement near a manhole cover or curb, whereas huge potholes continue to get bigger in other areas.

Look more closely at what is being done, and you will see what I am talking about.

Who decides what to repair and how big it should be? The paving companies hired by the City? Someone else?

Something fishy has been going on with road works this year I suspect...
 
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Sal De Ban

TRIBE Member
It was a tough winter, man. And anyone on tribe with experience in p.m. would be able to explain just how this work gets planned/scheduled/managed. But I'll make a point to look more closely this week.
 

Spinsah

TRIBE Member
I wouldn't be expecting a conspiracy as much as a bureaucratic silos operating inefficiently. The same patch of road is often dug up to access utility connections like water, gas, electrical, etc. These schedules could be much better coordinated.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
TAXPAYERS ARE GETTING RIPPED OFF SOMEWHERE!

oR something!!

I'm outraged! Man I LOVE being outraged!!!

ASDASJKHASJKLHDS

OUTRAGE!!!!
 

coleridge

TRIBE Member
City of Toronto Public Works determines the work to be done. They have their own forces for smaller work and tender out larger jobs to private contractors.

City of Toronto is unusual to other municipalities in that we mostly use a composite rigid pavement structure for our roads consisting of a relatively thin layer of small granular base , then a thick layer of concrete for structural strength and then it's finished off with asphalt. Typical pavement structures used elsewhere are termed "flexible" and are made up of a thick layer of large granular material, followed by a layer of smaller granular material and then the asphalt.

Our composite pavement is more expensive but is way more durable from the perspective of major structural integrity.

Concrete that isn't reinforced with rebar in it can not be poured in large slabs. A large slab of just concrete will break apart from the simple action of expanding and contracting through temperature changes. Concrete is therefore poured in smaller sections and separated by expansion joints; you can see these joints at regular intervals in sidewalks for example. It's the same thing for the concrete layer under the asphalt in the roads, there are expansion joints at regular intervals. There are also isolation joints around manholes and catchbasins to prevent any movement (settling) of these structures from breaking the concrete. These joints are located at least a few feet away from the structure.

So what this means is whenever road works are carried out that involves cutting through the concrete layer, in the interim they will patch the hole on the spot. However, later on they have to come back and repair the structure of the road out to the nearest joints. Hence why you see a large area rebuilt for what seemed like a small original disturbance.
 
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alexd

Administrator
Staff member
well, if you want some examples, look at this past week's "repairs" on Carlaw between Queen East and Eastern. Whereas Carlaw north between Queen St. E and Dundas is basically an open pit mine that needs repair.

Or this summer's extended road repairs at Queen East @ Logan by the Starbucks which appear completed for now. This was a dig a hole and fill it in again thing that went on for the month of August.

My point is that most people are focusing on the bollards and construction pylons because it disrupts their travel at the expense of looking at what is actually being done.
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
You want to know what the real roadworks scam is in Toronto, it's the speed "humps" they keep putting on residential streets all over the city. People either drive over them on either side or speed up in between them, more or less negating their intended effect. I'm convinced they're a scam by a tar company taking advantage of local politicians and residents' associations.
 

coleridge

TRIBE Member
well, if you want some examples, look at this past week's "repairs" on Carlaw between Queen East and Eastern. Whereas Carlaw north between Queen St. E and Dundas is basically an open pit mine that needs repair.

Or this summer's extended road repairs at Queen East @ Logan by the Starbucks which appear completed for now. This was a dig a hole and fill it in again thing that went on for the month of August.

My point is that most people are focusing on the bollards and construction pylons because it disrupts their travel at the expense of looking at what is actually being done.

The Carlaw work was probably desperately needed watermain replacement.

The work at Queen and Logan was TTC streetcar track replacement.
 
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coleridge

TRIBE Member
Email Paula Fletcher if you're truly concerned. She does a good job of staying on top of what's going on in this ward.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Is that in between visits to contractors to collect envelopes full of cash while "fake construction" distracts the rubes in her ward?
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
The Carlaw work was probably desperately needed watermain replacement.

The work at Queen and Logan was TTC streetcar track replacement.

I dunno about that. I would think you'd have to dig a deeper hole than 6" to replace a watermain... The work outside of Starbucks and across the street by Leslieville Cheese was at curbside and not near the tracks.
 

coleridge

TRIBE Member
I dunno about that. I would think you'd have to dig a deeper hole than 6" to replace a watermain... The work outside of Starbucks and across the street by Leslieville Cheese was at curbside and not near the tracks.

Were you there at all times watching them dig? They don't leave the holes open for safety reasons. Everything is backfilled or covered with metal plates when they're not working on it.
 
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octo

TRIBE Member
last week i actually got peeved to the point of calling the company that was cutting up the road.

an intersection near my place was getting all fucked up over the course of the past year. various gas or water line repairs followed by shitty filling in of the holes created pot holes and pooling of water. and the harsh winter ended up creating a massive frost heave.

during the summer the whole intersection was repaved. it was awesome, i was so happy.

then last week, as i'm having my morning coffee i'm watching these guys cutting in the the asphalt. i was so pissed! one of the trucks had the number of the company that was doing the work. so i called them.

it was these guys

Guild Electric

"good morning, guild"

me "i need to know why your chopping up my road"

"sorry sir, what is this about?"

"my intersection is freshly paved and you guys have some trucks here and some guys cutting it up. i need to why now! why do whatever it is you're doing before it gets repaved"

"oh is this about road work? one moment let me transfer you"

"good morning guild electric"

bear in mind that i had been working myself up into a bit of frenzy

so rinse and repeat my conversation.

a lady explained that they were installing "loop sensors" or something like that. basically i guess they detect cars and help manage the traffic lights at the intersection. i told her i GET what they do. my problem is why install them after the asphalt has been laid down. why not before.

her response was "well that's just the way it's always done"

i'm sure there's a better reason. please someone tell me there's an actual practical reason for it being done this way. cause now there are tar snakes in the fresh asphalt.

on a more positive note. the roads and highways were SO fucked up after the winter. but they have done TONS of work to fix them this summer. the roads are A LOT better now than the conditions they were in the spring.
 

agentRC4

TRIBE Member
its called saving union jobs. Why do all the work at once when you can spread it out over 3 years. Keeps more people employed. Just like the pothole fix in Kingston. Why not implement it here? What would all the workers do if there we no potholes to fix?

But its better than potholes in my lawn.
[YOUTUBE]0lNS07IrYVw[/YOUTUBE]
 

kuba

TRIBE Member
its called saving union jobs. Why do all the work at once when you can spread it out over 3 years. Keeps more people employed. Just like the pothole fix in Kingston. Why not implement it here? What would all the workers do if there we no potholes to fix?

But its better than potholes in my lawn.
[YOUTUBE]0lNS07IrYVw[/YOUTUBE]

120% right.

On both the fucking unions AND de la soul.
 
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Sal De Ban

TRIBE Member
yes, because NO ONE ever complained about road construction during the 80s or 90s. You guys both need another morning coffee.
 

veteze

TRIBE Promoter
they redid all of the sidewalks on dundas west last year (or two years ago?) and now they're digging them all up again to put in wheelchair accessible curbs for the new streetcars that will be doing the dundas route starting next year.

yeah. why didn't they just put in the wheelchair curbs when the did all the curbs in the first place? they knew the streetcars were coming.

and they're not just cutting a drop into the curb. they're digging these huge holes and blocking the sidewalk and street. it's insane how much shit their digging up to replace the slabs.

FFS! (shakes fist)!
 

Sal De Ban

TRIBE Member
roads are in bad shape: OUTRAGE!
roads are currently being repaired: OUTRAGE!
roads are full of other motorists and cyclists just like you: OUTRAGE!!!

Maybe everyone just needs to stop reacting so emotionally to every stimuli that comes their way.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Wait wait Sal- maybe you are forgetting to wrap your disgust at the waste of taxpayer dollars with a coating of class insecurity.

I mean just think about how hard you work and how underpaid you are - now think about lazy union workers working half as hard and getting paid twice as much to work on roads!!

Angry yet?? I know I wont be happy until all blue collar workers around me look suitably depressed and get paid less than me.
 

alexd

Administrator
Staff member
they redid all of the sidewalks on dundas west last year (or two years ago?) and now they're digging them all up again to put in wheelchair accessible curbs for the new streetcars that will be doing the dundas route starting next year.

yeah. why didn't they just put in the wheelchair curbs when the did all the curbs in the first place? they knew the streetcars were coming.

and they're not just cutting a drop into the curb. they're digging these huge holes and blocking the sidewalk and street. it's insane how much shit their digging up to replace the slabs.

FFS! (shakes fist)!

I think this accounts for a lot of the construction happening on street corners at every Queen St, intersection now, and it probably explains the digs around Queen E and Logan, Queen E and Carlaw, etc. These are massive shallow holes too.

Didn't they also have to replace all the streetcar intersections because the turning radius of the new streetcars turned out to be bigger than expected and they couldn't turn on the existing ones?
 
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