Every year, the City creates a list of the roads in need of repair based on various considerations, such as;
- the condition of the asphalt
- the condition of the sewers and the watermain
- the anticipated reconstruction timeline for the sewers and watermain
- the current level of road maintenance, and
- the volume of traffic
These roads make it into the annual asphalt program on a priority basis and are typically scheduled for paving between April and November.
For more information about the annual asphalt program, please see our Questions and answers below the schedule information.
Roads in new neighbourhoods fall under the subdivision category. A base road layer is built and sits for about a year to settle. After the year, and when all construction in the development is complete, manholes are raised, curbs are repaired, and the surface layer of the road is paved. The neighbourhood developer pays for this work.
There are three different types of pavement deficit work that get completed on roads depending on the age and condition of the road surface and the underground infrastructure.
Full depth: Full depth road maintenance work involves removing all of the existing asphalt on the road. Two new layers are then paved: a base layer and a surface layer. We do this work on older roads when the sewers and pipes underground are in good condition and don’t need to be replaced in the shorter term, but the road needs repairs now.
Partial depth: Partial depth road maintenance work involves removing and replacing just the surface layer of asphalt on the road. We do this work on older roads to get a few more years out of them, typically when the sewers and pipes underground will need to be replaced in a few years, but the road needs repairs sooner.
Patching: Patching work often looks like a cut-out on the road. This happens when a new business or home is built, or a future property development is set-up, that requires service connections (e.g. water and sewer) to the road. A small section of the road will be removed to install these connections. Patching happens after the service connections are complete.
Capital work applies to repaving on roads that had recent underground water and sewer pipe replacement. This final paving is usually done two years after the underground work to allow the road to settle, and is why it appears that the same roads are being worked on twice. In fact, this is the final phase of the whole project.
Traffic signals improvements
Traffic signal replacement and modernizations is required when equipment reaches the end of its expected service life. Part of this process often includes a complete reconstruction of all traffic signal equipment including underground infrastructure such as electrical cable conduits that run under the paved portion of the road. Replacement of these conduits often requires the excavation of the pavement. Completing the excavation prior to repaving the intersection significantly decreases the associated costs and results in a better overall quality of the finished pavement. Therefore, when possible, traffic signal replacement projects are tied into the Annual Paving contract.
Questions and answers about the annual asphalt program
How does the City decide which roads are being repaved?
The selection of roads for the City’s annual paving program is tied to the condition of the asphalt and traffic volume on roads, as well as underground infrastructure (water and sewer pipes) replacement needs.
For example, sometimes we need to replace sewers and water pipes under a road, and/or other underground utilities. Rather than simply repaving the top layer of the road (surface layer) and then tearing it all up a year or two later for underground work, the City waits just a little longer and does all the work at once. This saves money in the long run, and minimizes inconvenience to residents and others traveling in our community.
If underground pipes are in good shape, the City considers the road for the annual asphalt program which only replaces just the surface layer. Repaving helps the whole road last until construction crews need to go underground to replace pipes.
What happens during the paving process?
There are three basic steps when it comes to repaving:
- Remove concrete curbs and the top layer of the road as needed
- Repave the road
- Rebuild curbs and gutters, driveway aprons, and complete final line painting.
Paving can take about one to four weeks, depending on the road work required and weather conditions.
Once everything is done, the City will also replace any turf that was removed. This may be delayed due to scheduling and watering needs.
How do I find out when my road is scheduled for paving?
The Annual asphalt list is not scheduled in detail at the start of the season. Instead, the paving company doing the work moves through the city completing work when and where they can. They will schedule work on nearby roads about the same time so they can easily move equipment.
Once timing is determined, construction notices are delivered to homes about two weeks before the planned road work start date. Information is also:
- posted to guelph.ca/construction,
- added to our Google traffic impacts map, and
- shared on the City’s Facebook and Twitter accounts; be sure to follow #guelphroads for up to date information about roads in Guelph.
How will road paving affect me?
The City does its best to ensure paving impacts are limited, but delays should be expected. Road paving can include lane reductions, when construction crews work on one lane at a time. When this occurs, crews work to maintain two-way traffic around the work, and a flag person may be used to direct vehicles on busier roads.
Sometimes there are on-street parking restrictions when the road work requires it, such as work on a narrow road. When this occurs, residents are notified and alternatives for parking are provided where needed.
The City also strives to maintain pedestrian access. When one sidewalk is closed, we try to keep the other sidewalk or walkway available, or we create a temporary path.
Public transit can be effected when there are detours and/or when delays occur. Our construction notice and updates include information about any bus routes that are being detoured.
Often there are no impacts to waste collection. When waste collection is affected, residents are notified in advance with information about how the City will address collection. Usually this is as simple as asking people make sure their address is written on their carts so crews can move carts to a central collection area, and return carts to the right address when waste collection is done.
Who pays for road paving?
With the exception of paving in new developments which are paid for by the developer, road paving is typically funded through the City’s tax-supported budget. Government grants may help support costs for some projects.