The County owns and operates numerous resource pits throughout the County. A fleet of six (6) heavy trucks transport aggregates from resource pits to stockpiles and the spreading of aggregates directly to gravel road surfaces.
Annually the County distributes 41,000 cubic meters of aggregates across 300 kilometers of Arterial, 275 kilometers of Collector, and 875 kilometers of Local classified gravel roads. The crushing of resources is planned and carried out by retaining a crushing contractor. By managing aggregates in this manner the County is able to address ¼ of 1450 km of County gravel surfaced roads annually, keeping the program manageable in size based on available resources, equipment, and labour. Aggregate use will be planned and budgeted for annually on this philosophy; however aggregate use will be limited to roads requiring resurfacing. This philosophy ensures road surfaces are addressed regularly based on classification (importance), based on need, and on a manageable plan promoting conservation of resource for future use.
Open our Aggregate Management Policy document
Regular road grading occurs to provide a safe driving surface for the traveling public and to preserve the investment in the road infrastructure. Currently approximately 1450 km of County gravel surface is split into eight areas of grader responsibility, each operator maintains about 181 km of road. Roads are graded regularly based on a grading rotation of approximately 20 working days (once a month). Roads with higher use are graded more frequently and low use roads are graded less frequently. A rural road study was completed in 2012 to better help understand road use and traffic patterns, establishing Arterial (heavy use), Collector (moderate use) and local (low use) roads. Additionally traffic patterns change seasonally due to agriculture and industry activities that all determine grading frequency. Grading season typically occurs when temperatures are greater than freezing (ground must be thawed). This occurs generally in the months of May though to October.
Collector and Local gravel road surfaces are typically 8 meters (26 ¼ feet) wide and Arterial roads are typically 9 meters (29 ½ feet) wide. The crown on gravel roads is 4%, allowing for safe driving and promote effective drainage of water of the surface during rain events. Grader operators utilize a four pass grading technique to maintain desired width and crown.
Traffic on gravel roads can be easily determined by the number of wheel tracks on the surface. Arterial roads can have up to five identifiable wheel tracks (frequent two-way traffic), collectors roads typically have three wheel tracks (occasional two-way traffic) and local roads have two wheel tracks (primarily one-way traffic).
Other summer operations include, but not limited to;
- Paved road sweeping of highways, hamlets, and subdivisions in the spring to cleanup sand/debris accumulated over the winter months
- Dirty road signs are also pressure washed annually to maintain visibility
- Delineators are inspected/repaired in the spring and fall
- All major bridge structures on County roads are cleaned and minor inspections are performed
- Paved roads are crack sealed and lines repainted by mid June
- Paved roads are inspected annually to identify minor defects such as potholes that will be repaired
- Catch basins for buried storm drains are inspected and cleaned annually