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Why do Some Sidewalks in Burlington get Replaced and Others Don’t?

STOCK_Road Sidewalk Maintenance_Halton Region photo

My office has received some questions from residents as to why the curbs and sidewalks of some streets get replaced and others don’t. We took those questions to our Capital Works (Design and Construction) Department and I’m sharing the responses with you.

The City of Burlington applies three main treatments for any treatments of pavements, including:

  1. Resurfacing or “Shave and Pave” — the removal and replacement of the top lift of asphalt. This treatment is selected when the surface cracking is beginning to expand and the age is within the first 1/3 of its life;
  2. Minor Reconstruction — involves the removal and replacement of both layers of asphalt, Wearing Surface and Base Asphalt. This treatment is required when surface cracking is much more extensive and/or there is vertical movement in the road resulting in poor ride condition;
  3. Full Reconstruction — the complete removal and replacement of the entire pavement system, including the wearing surface, base asphalt, and granular base material. This treatment is for pavements that can no longer be resurfaced due to advanced age and typical involve replacement of underground services. All pavements are built to current design and construction standards.

The rehabilitation treatments are triggered by the condition and age of the pavement section. The City’s goal is to strive for the longest pavement life at the lowest cost of funding.

During the initial stages of a project, staff will walk the street to determine what curbs, gutters and sidewalks need to be replaced.  Those assets are replaced for safety reasons not aesthetics. Some reasons for replacing include:

  • Water ponding on sidewalk or roadway;
  • Trip hazards;
  • Catch basins not to City standards;
  • Major delamination of curbs and sidewalks; and
  • Pieces or curbs missing due to damage.

As part of Ontario Accessibility Standards, when the City rehabilitates a road, it upgrades the sidewalk infrastructure to current AODA standards where possible.

More information on the City’s asset management plan is available through this link:—may-31-2017.pdf.

The City is always looking at ways to increase the lifecycle of the roads and all of its assets — this allows us to spend our budgets wisely and get the maximum life out of each dollar spent.

— Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist.

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Constituent Assistant: Hannelie van Niekerk
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