In the coming weeks, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will resurface two sections of Head Bay Forest Service Road, to make the drive smoother and safer for people, using a process called sealcoating.
“Without doubt, Head Bay Road is vital for Tahsis, but it is also important for the whole of the North Island. It is an access road for First Nations, for tourists and lodges, as well as for industry,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena. “This project will help provide a safe driving surface, and should protect the road base from additional wear and tear.”
Thirteen kilometres of the 60-kilometre-long route between Tahsis and Gold River will be upgraded. Five kilometres of road will be double sealcoated for the first time, and the existing sealcoat of another eight kilometres of road will be pulverized down, and then redone with double sealcoat.
Sealcoating is a cost-effective way to resurface and extend the life of roads because it seals out moisture. It also provides a skid-resistant, anti-glare surface during wet weather and a dust-free driving surface by hardening the gravel surface. The sealcoating process includes spraying a mixture of asphalt and water onto the road, then spreading and compacting a layer of gravel to embed it into the asphalt. Once the surface has cured, the sealcoat will be swept to remove loose gravel.
O.K. Industries Ltd. of Courtenay has been awarded a $2.13-million contract for the work, which is expected to occur from mid-April to late June. Travellers are asked to watch for workers, follow instructions from traffic controllers and obey the reduced construction speed limit. Driving at higher speeds can cause gravel to break loose from a fresh seal coat, creating the risk of flying rock which may crack or break a windshield.