The Alberta government is testing new highway paving techniques it says will extend the life of some roads by up to 20 years as part of its $335 million paving budget.

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In an announcement on Thursday, Transport and Economic Corridor Minister Devin Drieschen said the rehabilitation work minimizes the need for full road reconstruction in a challenging environment that sometimes fluctuates between -40C and 40C heat .

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Some of the additional $80 million in highway funding this fiscal year will be spent testing the use of cold in-place recycling (CIR) technology on Highway 33 near Barrhead, northwest of Edmonton.

“It’s a lot cheaper because you don’t have to haul material out and back to build the road,” Drieshen said.

That technology recycles existing pavement, mixes it with new materials and replaces it as a new layer of pavement. Without using heat, it aims to reduce emissions.

Drieschen said the department is also considering employing “geocells,” honeycomb-shaped structures that make up the mattress, to reinforce the road structure. They are also considering adding oil and bitumen to the asphalt mix.

“All of these new technologies have the potential to reduce costs and increase the lifetime of our roads, which hinges on long-term performance and cost-effectiveness,” said Drieschen, who asked questions about how that performance or cost-effectiveness might be. No specific information was given. Measured.

The minister said that the comparison of 20 years with traditional reconstruction depends on what technology is being used.

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this year provincial budget The province puts a total of $402.2 million into highway maintenance.

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As of 2021-22, 58.6 percent of highways in Alberta were rated “good,” 25.5 percent “fair” and 15.9 percent “poor,” according to the department’s latest budget documents.

Alberta’s highway network includes approximately 28,000 kilometers of paved roads, of which 2,800 are four-lane or six-lane divided highways.

There are 42 paving projects underway across the province, including eight in the Central Zone, 14 in the Peace Zone and 11 in the Southern Zone.

In the North Central and Fort McMurray areas, there are nine, including:

— Between Hwy 16 Clover Bar Road and 9 km west of Hwy 834 Between Hwy 16 Clover Bar Road and 12 km west of Hwy 834

– Hwy 658, between Hwy 43 and 7 km east of Hwy 43

— Highway 39 between Calamar City and 3 km west of Highway 2

– Highway 825 between Township Road 553 and Highway 643 north

– Highway 2 between Highway 39 and Edmonton

– Highway 44 between Township Road 594 and south of Highway 18

– Highway 18 and Highway 33 between south of Ft. Assiniboine

– Highway 661 between Highway 33 and 19 km west of Highway 769

– Highway 897 ADBetween Hwy 646 and 16 km north of Hwy 646


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