North Shore road resurfacing begins

Cars were backed up all the way along Nelson Avenue to Ward Street on Tuesday due to road resurfacing on the North Shore.

A Fernie company is recycling a stretch of Highway 3A on the North Shore.

Cars were backed up all the way along Nelson Avenue to Ward Street on Tuesday due to road resurfacing on the North Shore.

The project began Monday and according to DriveBC the wait’s expected to be 20 minutes.

The roadwork is anticipated to last until July 30.

Shane Stothert of Green Roads Recycling, which is doing the resurfacing project, said Tuesday’s delays were “abnormal” because the orange bridge was involved, but “now that we are moving away from Nelson and towards Kokanee Creek bridge we will have much shorter delays.

“Our operation allows for continuous single lane traffic configuration so we have far less delays than the traditional method of rip it up and throw it away,” he said.

Green Roads Recycling isn’t just resurfacing the road; they are recycling it. It’s a market that is becoming increasingly competitive in BC and Green Roads is one of the world leaders.

“We do everything in one pass so once the road has been recycled we do not need to come back, unlike the conventional approach that trucks everything away to be stockpiled, then after that is complete they need to come back again with 80 per cent more trucks on the road to place the asphalt down.”

Shane’s dad Skip started the company 20 years ago, and the family run business has now paved and recycled about 11,550 kilometres of road.

Shane said Green Roads recycled the same stretch of road they are currently working on 18 years ago.

Green Roads uses a two-step process that recycles 100 per cent of the existing asphalt.

The machinery the company uses heats the existing road to soften it, which makes it possible to remove two layers of asphalt.

The layers are mechanically combined and mixed with a rejuvenating agent and then the newly mixed asphalt is put down to create the new road.

“By recycling these non renewable resources in place it will help to minimize the demand on further development of oil wells and aggregate pits,” said Stothert.

One problem companies like Green Roads are run into is roads that are not made with asphalt or recyclable materials, but with garbage.

“Questions that are not being asked when ‘greenwashed’ products like rubber, plastic, asbestos, sulphur, heavy metals, etc., are stretched out through pristine ecosystems and watersheds are: What will happen to the road when it falls apart? Are these products recyclable? What will be the immediate health effect on the workers? Are the products non-reactive? Are we introducing unnecessary toxins? These questions are not being asked and as a result the ultimate losers are the taxpayers and in particular our children,” he said.

Stothert is hoping the more projects Green Roads is involved in, the more people will notice the importance of the environmental impact of roads and not just the cars that drive on them.

Green Roads is based in Fernie but does projects all over BC. For more information on the company visit their website at thinkgreenroads.com

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