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Working on a Recipe for Our Roads

Engineering Services Quality Assurance Laboratory

May 28, 2013

City’s Engineering Services Section a World Leader in Materials Testing

The on-again, off-again warming trends of late winter and early spring have caused significant issues on many of Edmonton’s roadways, but the City of Edmonton has been hard at work behind the scenes trying to address the challenges of both aging infrastructure and numerous freeze/thaw cycles that have take their toll on our city’s roadways.

Transportation Services, by way of its Engineering Services Quality Assurance Laboratory, has spent nearly a decade researching the materials and processes used by the City of Edmonton in roadway construction and maintenance. In fact, Edmonton is the only municipality in Canada to invest in the expertise, equipment (some of which exceeds the capabilities of many universities in Canada), as well as a facility to conduct this research.

“We’re able to obtain a wide variety of asphalt mixtures, subject them to rigorous simulations involving traffic volumes, weight and temperature, and discover what combinations would work best in specific locations,” said Hugh Donovan, Construction Service Engineer. “There are many variables we have to consider when determining exactly the right mix for Edmonton roadways.”

Testing on materials is done not only in the laboratories, but patches of material are also laid on current roadways in order to assess durability and effectiveness in real world situations. The results from the numerous studies performed by the Engineering Services Section have been presented at conferences and forums in Canada and around the world.

“The issues that Edmonton is facing with its roads, potholes in particular, are not unique by any means,” added Donovan. “The research work that we are conducting not only has the potential to help us find materials that are right for our city’s transportation network, but can also assist other municipalities determine what works best for them.”

In addition to its quality assurance testing and research programs, Engineering Services is also responsible for geotechnical engineering, landslide and erosion monitoring and repair, environmental engineering and research, surveying on City projects, as well as noise and vibration monitoring. The Section is also responsible for the City’s trailblazing and internationally recognized winter street sand and construction aggregate recycling programs.



For more information:

Online Contact 311 Online

In Edmonton: 311

Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

TTY 780-944-5555
Email 311@edmonton.ca