Transportation minister says repairs will be made to rocky Plan B highway

Dave Stewart
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A section of the Trans-Canada highway west of Charlottetown, known now as "Plan B." Drivers are questioning why the new multimillion-dollar highway is so rocky.

Robert Vessey says contractor will be applying a seal coat to the surface at no cost to taxpayer

Driving on the realigned portion of the Trans-Canada Highway through Bonshaw is going to get smoother as the weather improves.

That's the word from Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Robert Vessey, who told the P.E.I. legislature on Tuesday that the contractor which worked on the so-called Plan B project will be applying a seal coat later this spring.

Vessey said any work that has to be done, beyond the seal coat, will be at the expense of the contractor.

"It was a hard winter. All roads in the province, even my own road in York, heaved,'' Vessey said in an interview following question period. "It was bad for frost. It went in quick and it went in hard and it pushed up the ground.''

Tracadie-Hillsborough Park MLA Buck Watts rose during question period on Tuesday, asking the minister for an explanation.

"I'm hearing (complaints) from a lot of people,'' Watts told The Guardian. "They're wondering why a brand new highway would be in that kind of condition (and) I was thinking the same thing myself.''

The new $16 million highway opened last fall. Steven Yeo, the province's chief engineer, said when construction is done late in the season there are often what he called "frost differentials'' or heaving.

Yeo said he expected it, pointing out that the worst sections were near New Haven and Bonshaw. Roads typically rise about three inches in the winter when they freeze.

Vessey said Tuesday that the moisture didn't have time to dry and settle.

"The sub-grade materials (gravel or shale) that went down (were exposed) to high moisture and when you get high moisture and the frost hits it freezes and it heaves. Once we put the seal coat down we don't expect any problems.''

Vessey said similar problems have plagued a lot of secondary roads, as well as the collectors and streets in Charlottetown.

Watts said the highway isn't nearly as bumpy now as it was.

"Just this past weekend I had an occasion to travel it again and it was much better. It will dry out. It's just a glitch that's going to be looked after.''

Seal coats provide a waterproof surface and prevent moisture from entering and weakening the roadbed. It is also supposed to reduce deterioration and cracking. Seal coats tend to last three to five years.

Organizations: Trans-Canada Highway, The Guardian

Geographic location: Bonshaw, York, New Haven Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Helene
    April 16, 2014 - 10:37

    Who actually benefitted from Plan "B"?

  • RMac
    April 16, 2014 - 10:29

    Its about time we got rid of the "washbored" pass.

  • Gerard Deveau
    April 16, 2014 - 08:31

    I was wondering after reading article can the Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Robert Vessey get a whole of all the compaction testing results that were done during the construction of the highway and did the asphalt company who laid the asphalt use the wrong mix for the highway. which could also factor into the rough road. It happen one time back in 1980's in North Tryon when a asphalt company use the wrong mix and also the crown of the road was inwards instead of outwards (for proper drainage) and it had to be resurfaced the next year with the proper HIGHWAY MIX and HIGHWAY SEAL not DRIVEWAY MIX. Just a thought!

  • Horse
    April 16, 2014 - 08:06

    What is with Vessey and his crooney's? Who do you think you're trying to kid? Of course tax payer's are going to pay for this forever. As far as the contractor is concerned companies like this are in the sidelines lips smacking and waiting for idiots like Vessey to tender the contracts. Of course the contractor should repair their mistakes at their cost one would expect nothing less.

  • Al
    April 16, 2014 - 07:40

    Don't mean to offend anyone here, but these responses are coming from people who have little to no experience in the road construction field (I can tell). It's frost heave-- it's nothing new! That will happen when you pave that late in the year. Take a look at some of the streets in stratford and charlottetown.. They're far and away worse than plan B, but you don't notice it because you don't drive over them at 90+km/hr speeds. This summer will allow the moisture to dry out and the material to settle. After the seal coat is applied you people will have to find something new to complain about.

  • don
    April 16, 2014 - 05:49

    all they are doing is a patch job next year it will be the same. plan B. is a screw up and ghiz knows it. and his so called pro's knows it. the liberal contractor knows it but they got our money and if more repairs are needed we will have to pay for it.

  • dave anger
    April 16, 2014 - 05:00

    the creeks in Bonshaw were running red no fish left there

  • Bob
    April 16, 2014 - 04:56

    Can Mr. Vessey tell me where he shops to get this "FREE" sealant that they are going to use on this mess? I would love to know so I can get some for my drive way. Also while he is at it perhaps he could fix the land mines on the York Road so I can lower my mechanic bill.

  • voter
    April 16, 2014 - 04:43

    WOW !!!isn't it amazing !!! He says "Even HIS OWN road HEAVED " unthinkable !!!!!

  • Stewart
    April 16, 2014 - 04:17

    "It went in quick and it went in hard". Graphically explains how Plan B was forced on Islanders.

  • Islander
    April 15, 2014 - 21:31

    It's time for a cabinet shuffle!!!! Vessey has PROVEN that he bit off more than he can chew! Highway just needs to be recapped? Having said that, he should resign! The waste of tax payers dollars in the transportation dept is amazing. Something that very well needs to be looked into

  • Desable thug
    April 15, 2014 - 21:18

    Maybe they should try plan C??

  • What a joke
    April 15, 2014 - 20:59

    How long were you in front of the mirror practising that rehearsed answer? I took route 2 on my way to Summerside and the TCH on my way back. The road made me carsick. Stop the BS. The road needs to be looked at. The views are nice but the construction is seriously flawed. That will cost a fortune to properly repair and maintain.

  • No Cost to Taxpayer
    April 15, 2014 - 20:45

    Mr. Vessey's messy project messed and muddied trout & salmon habitat and the resulting Sherry Fairyland roller coaster can be sealed at "no cost" to the taxpayer. It's great that he can find contractors to work for free! Or does he mean that our wasted tax dollars have already paid the bill?