Third party report finds Sudbury roadwork did not meet city standards

A third party report released by engineering firm WSP found that roadwork done by a City of Greater Sudbury contracted company did not meet requirements.

The report comes months after Road Surface Recycling Limited (RSR) was hired by the city to renew asphalt along several roads.

WSP’s latest report, published on August 30th, found the work done along the Kingsway centre and merge lane fell short of thickness, amount of cracks shown and durability for vehicles.

On June 20, the company started recycling asphalt along the Kingsway as part of a brand new pilot project that tested “hot-in-place recycling.”

According to both RSR and the City of Greater Sudbury, the cost-saving method mixes compounds with old asphalt before redistributing it over roadways.

‘What we do is 100 per cent recycling’

The project and contract were halted almost halfway through recycling asphalt along the Kingsway, pending further quality checks and testing.

“What we do is 100 per cent recycling,” said Frank Crupi, vice president of Road Surface Recycling.

Crupi, whose team is reviewing the WSP report, claims there are “too many inconsistencies” in the findings that assess surface appearance, asphalt gradation and lift thickness.

WSP said in their report the ideal temperature for asphalt renewal is 120 degrees, which RSR did not reach.

Frank Cruppi of Road Surface Recycling Limited has been recycling asphalt for over 40 years. ( Orphée Moussongo/Radio-Canada )

“As a result of the described deficiencies, the road is experiencing surface defects such as segregation, flushing, fat spots and transverse cracking,” the WSP report said.

“Overall, the quality of the HIR was poor, the work frequently did not meet the project specification requirements,” it read.

According to Crupi, their work is affected by the quality of roads they renew.

“We’re not bringing any new material. The city owns the material we’re recycling and we don’t add anything but oils to it, and maybe some aggregate to hit certain qualities that we’re looking for in in laboratory testing.”

David Shelsted, director of engineering services for the City of Greater Sudbury, said the report was published for transparency and is a rare decision during a contract dispute.

He told CBC Sudbury the city outlined their quality expectations in its contract, which RSR acknowledged.

“We noticed non conformance in terms of the work and how it was being undertaken and the results that we were getting,” he said.

“We explained that to the contractor. They attempted to make modifications through the next several days of paving in order to bring their operations into conformance with the contracts. However, they were not able to.”

Both parties to meet on Sept. 7.

Shelsted added the WSP report supported their claims the Kingsway asphalt was not properly heated or thick enough to withstand seasonal conditions.

“We also required certain performance requirements once the asphalt was rejuvenated in order to meet the climate conditions in our community,” he said.

 “And they did not meet that requirement as well.”

Crupi, who has been recycling asphalt for four decades, said their hot-in-place recycling quality was already tested and cleared by engineering consulting company Wood PLC as required by the contract.

“It’s a pilot project and the definition of a pilot project is to learn,” he said.

“They weren’t there to learn, they were there to disrupt.”

RSR said it plans to challenge the WSP report when it has an opportunity to meet with the city on Sept. 7.

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