UPDATE: Province to Repair Highway 3 This Summer
Repairs will take place this summer in hopes of preventing future buckling on Highway 3.
Monday afternoon, at the start of a heat spell, the highway west of Manning buckled — again. The same issue occurred a number of times during heat spells last summer.
In a statement from Ministry of Transportation Communications Coordinator Liane Fisher Bloxam, "The ministry has completed field investigations to better understand the potential causes for pavement buckling."
The field investigations included coring through the pavement joints, lab testing soil samples and ground penetrating radar survey to assess concrete thickness and granular depth.
"Based on the outcome of the investigation, the ministry determined the need to repair, clean and reseal the joints as well as complete selective concrete panel repairs on Highway 3. The ministry has a contract tendered to complete these repairs this summer. In addition, the ministry will continue to monitor and complete maintenance on this section Highway 3."
Meanwhile, Essex County Warden Gary McNamara says the repeated heaving is a safety concern because the road buckles quickly and it is a well-travelled roadway.
"Well here we go again, similar to last year," says Essex County Warden and Tecumseh Mayor Gary McNamara who points out it is in the exact same section of the four-lane highway and in the north lane.
"We are starting to wonder when that was constructed, or re-constructed a few years back, why is it only that section?" he asks. "Is it something in the construction of it, the material, how the base was prepared."
He also questions why concrete on the Herb Gray Parkway and the 401 isn't buckling, even though it faces the same elements and weather.
Full statement from the Ministry of Transportation:
"Last year, the ministry completed field investigations on Highway 3 to better understand the potential causes for pavement buckling in extreme heat.
Field investigations include coring through the pavement joints; laboratory testing of selected soil samples; a Ground Penetrating Radar survey to assess concrete thickness and granular depth; Falling Weight Deflectometer testing to determine how the pavement joints move under traffic loading as well as visual inspections of the pavement.
Concrete pavements are constructed with joints filled with a rubberized sealant to allow the concrete to expand. Occasionally, under extremely high temperatures and humidity the expansion can be greater than that provided by the joints and the resulting force may cause the concrete to buckle. Buckling may also be exacerbated by sand or debris in the joint. MTO works with its contractors to monitor and repair the joints or the pavement as quickly as possible.
Based on the outcome of the investigation, the ministry determined the need to repair, clean and reseal the joints as well as complete selective concrete panel repairs on Highway 3. The ministry has a contract tendered to complete these repairs this Summer. In addition, the ministry will continue to monitor and complete maintenance on this section Highway 3."