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Paving project faces 'test of time'

Jessica Gray
Northern News Services

Fort Simpson (Nov 24/06) - Councillors in Fort Simpson said they can only wait and see if the material used to chip seal roads around the village was the right choice.

The village decided to use 19-mm chips, which are described by Mayor Duncan Canvin as, "coarser than we thought it was."

NNSL Photo/graphic

Nineteen-millimetre chips were used during the chipsealing project in Fort Simpson this summer. Finer chips are being used in other road projects in the NWT. - NNSL file photo

Council questioned whether or not the right chips for the roads were bought during the village council meeting in October.

Tom Matus, senior administrative officer, told the council other road projects in the NWT were using finer chips to build roads.

Councillors, along with the mayor, admitted they bought a particular chip without quite knowing much about building roads.

"There seems to be a real lack of expertise out there," said deputy mayor Tom Wilson.

"We didn't know what we were asking for," said Canvin.

Not all councillors agreed.

Councillor Bruce Thomas said he had experience with construction and roads and the chip size would hold up just fine.

The chip sealing project is 95 per cent complete, with only a few roads, like the one near the post office, to be completed.

The village decided to chip seal roads in the area to cut down on dust.

According to the mayor, the total cost of the project is around $320,000.

When asked after the meeting what else 19 mm chips were used for, Canvin said these chips can also be used as a foundation layer of the road, with finer chips put on top.

It's possible the village may use this concept and put a second layer over the roads at a later date.

So far, Canvin said the roads are holding up well, except where people have spun their tires on the road before it settled. An example can be seen on the street near the Manor.

"The test of time is the only measure," he said.