Last week I had separate meetings with Coun. Janice Lukes, Coun. Scott Gillingham and Dr. Ahmed Shalaby to discuss the economic, health and safety implications of the deplorable road infrastructure in Manitoba.
Dr. Ahmed is a Professor of Civil Engineering specializing in pavement design and highway materials and co-founder of Safer Road Canada. He has been advocating for more investment in road infrastructure, safety standards, use of alternative materials, improved regulatory and oversight functions
This year, we witnessed an unprecedented rise in the number of potholes, leading to huge MPI claims by motorists and other health effects. I was moved by the number of cars I saw parked by the roadsides probably damaged because of potholes. I decided to find out what can be done to provide some form of sustainable solutions.
Every year, we embark on patching potholes or resurfacing our roads. This is nothing but another form of ‘triage approach’, according to my friend Peter.
While applauding the $15M promise on patching potholes, this is only a cosmetic or triage approach. In the end, we are spending more, considering the health, safety, and economic impacts of this annual triage approach.
There is a better and more durable approach of tackling this problem. My conversation with Dr. Ahmed Shalaby indicates that a sustainable solution is possible.