Sunday 8 September 2013

Waverley West bike paths already cracking.

Last weekend I did some suburban exploration on my bicycle. Among the things I discovered was an elaborate garden on or near a hydro corridor, complete with garden shed, shag carpeting, mysterious 50 gallon drums and other various containers laying about. The whole operation stretches close to 200 yards from one end to the other.

what's in the shed?
This was not far from Waverley West, Winnipeg's largest new subdivision, so I decided to toodle about the Bridgwater area of Waverley West to see what was going on.

I was excited to see Bridgwater (Yes, I'm spelling it correctly. There is no 'e'. That was the guy's name. Deal with it.) because we are being told it is going to be a dynamic "new-urbanist" suburb with a town center that promises to reinvent the "neo-traditional architecture of early-20th-century". Already this area is being compared to the walkable Corydon and Osborne Village neighbourhoods. -fp-

Sure, it doesn't look like much right now ...

Bridgwater Town Centre

... but just close your eyes and envision the multi-use buildings lining the sidewalks with patios, clock towers, fountains, and people bustling about. This is going to be no ordinary suburb, I'm telling you!

Part of this new ethos of suburban sprawl is a focus on active transportation. As we mentioned in a recent post, Bridgwater will incorporate a network of trails that will allow people to get around while mostly staying off the roads. I fully support this concept in principle.

Nice path to nowhere

As we also mentioned previously, as the network expands so too will the cost of maintaining these trails.

Especially if they're built like this ...
It's only an asphalt wound.
Yes, that's right. These brand news paths started cracking virtually the moment the steam rollers left the scene.

The path above is so new that it's not even shown on the Public Works Department AT plan as a "proposed" or "future" route. It doesn't even go anywhere, because the path that it will eventually connect with, this being the "future" path along Bishop Grandin and Kenaston, is nowhere near being constructed.

See I told you it was a path to nowhere.
So this brand new path that is already cracking will have to weather at least one more freezing winter and spring thaw before it even connects to something and becomes useful.

 The crack shown above is certainly not a one-off. There are many more like it, though this one is probably one of the worst on this stretch. But why is this cracking so soon? Did the company that poured the concrete in the new Investors Group Field win the bid to construct these paths? I know that some paths have problems with tree roots causing cracks, but there is not a tree anywhere near this path. It was constructed on newly graded treeless terrain.

Another question: why did these paths even get built at this time when they're not on the Public Works AT plan and don't go anywhere?

Another question: why are we spending $330,000 on an active transportation master plan, when the city goes completely off the map and doesn't follow the plan we already have in place? The thing about a plan is it doesn't work as intended if you use it to prop up the uneven back left leg of your desk.

Perhaps this Master Plan will be followed and will result in an orderly and sensible trail building strategy. That would be great, but there is only so much a plan can do. One thing it cannot do is ensure a path is properly constructed so that it doesn't crack before anybody sets foot on it.


Anonymous said...

From what I saw in the pix it looks like it was done ad hoc and on the cheap. Didn't see any sign of windrows from soil excavation, nor proper agregate foundations under the asphalt paving.

I'm not sure of the specs but it usually requires something like soil excavation, felt or some form of poly fabric barrier, four to six inches of highly compacted 3/4 limestone topped with at least 2 inches of 1/4 down crushed limestone then two inches of asphalt.

It also looks like it isn't a 10 foot width. Perhaps it isn't on the City plan because the city didn't tender or inspect it, and it was put in by some developer which raises some serious issues of liability if someone is injured while using it.

I'd look in the city tenders but I'm too tired. #gopeanutgo LOL

cherenkov said...

I doubt that a developer would go through the expense of creating a path like this unless it was part of "the deal" in developing the area, which is certainly possible. Then yes, they would probably do it as cheaply as possible.

Love the hash tag.

Anonymous said...

You spelled Bridgwater correctly.

But Waverley is misspelled.

cherenkov said...

Ha.You're right.Thanks. Fixed it.

Anonymous said...

If you are referring to the AT path that goes along Bishop and then is supposed to turn and head north following Kenaston to Whyte Ridge, that was built in its entirety.

This is where you should be upset about the City following plans: They built that extension from Pembina To McGillivray about 2 years ago. It was separate from the the 2010 ATISP $20 million boom. The path was there for a year, maybe two and then they ripped it up to start building the Kenaston extension.

If you have access to the old City Cycling maps take a look at 2009 versus 2011 and now 2013. 2009 it is shown as a proposed route. 2011 it is shown as a multi-use pathway. 2013 it is a future route. That is City Planning.

cherenkov said...

Anon: I wrote about that here:

I believe that path was in place for less than a year before it was torn up. Appalling waste of money. That's the kind of thing somebody should get fired for.

John Dobbin said...

Good job: I wrote about the site here:

and here:

I want more trails but they have to be done right.

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