The MHCA has requested the director of Winnipeg’s Public Works department convene and also chair a meeting of the Spec Review Committee within the next 7-10 business days to address continuing challenges the industry is having meeting the new roadbuilding specifications.
The Spec Review Committee has representation from the Urban Development Institute, the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies – Mb, the University of Manitoba, the MHCA and the City of Winnipeg.
The request was made by email to the Public Works director July 5. The meeting would also discuss concerns the industry has with new City rules for concrete materials and testing.
The request follows a specification update presentation June 27 by senior staff of Public Works regarding:
- new specifications (CW 3110 – R21) for base and sub-base aggregate materials
- a review of new specs this year for Portland cement concrete pavement works
- additional updates to concrete specs and surface works in 2023 and,
- in 2024, updates to asphalt concrete pavement
Most troublesome are the tight specifications for recycled concrete aggregates and, this year has proven especially challenging for the new gradation requirements for limestone aggregate materials.
Discussions with Public Works staff have resulted in no real progress on the issues. MHCA attached in the email to the director a summary of the industry issues with the base and sub-base specs and with the new specs for Portland cement concrete.
Further, the broader review of the cost/benefit of using recycled concrete aggregates (RCA) in road base and sub-base has not proceeded, despite clear directions given in 2020 by City Council’s Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works (IRPW) Committee.
The IRPW Committee specifically directed the public service to undertake a study to “quantify the cost, and economic, environmental and resource-management benefits associated with the use of RCA.”
“We were alarmed to hear the public service state, at a meeting of the committee earlier this year, that there is no real value in undertaking the studies of the environmental and resource-management cost/benefit of using recycled aggregates,” MHCA President Chris Lorenc said. “Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of crushed concrete is removed every year from various City construction works and the prospect is the material will not be recycled but will be hauled to the landfill.”
The MHCA solicited from an engineering consulting firm how the environmental and resource-management studies should proceed and then be reported with recommendations for the City and Council to consider. The consultant’s report, which has the support of the Urban Development Institute and ACEC- Mb, has been sent to the director of Public Works.
A goal would be to take the steps needed to see the studies of environmental and resource-management cost/benefits of RCA completed.