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June 25, 2008


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wayne hawkins

you think that is bad for cars, just try riding a motorcycle on those roads. Not just uncomfortable but downright dangerous.

I sent an e-mail to the Ministry of Transport about it and actually got a reply from a road engineer explaining the problem they have, but I feel the danger far overrides the problem they have so I will go out and invent your road Zamboni forthwith.

Dana Nield

NASA beat you to it, but again, it's a notion that reached the concept stage:

Unfortunately, it only works with moondust.


I know you hate them but you should try a ground-off road on a motorcycle. For some reason the ones in the west end (Milton to Mississauga) are FAR worse than the east end.


I like the environmentally-friendly aspect of your notional idea! (Can I even call it an idea if it hasn't passed the concept stage yet?)


I drive daily between Cambridge and Brampton, and this grooved pavement has been driving me nuts! During the dry weather I wonder what it is doing to my cars tires and also my overall gas mileage. I have noticed my little Saturn wagon and my Saturn Vue both "drift" and slide back and forth over the pebbled surface. At times traction seems non-existent. Even at a reduced speed of 80kph I feel my vehicle sliding along the top of the pebbles (with a tractor trailer bearing down on me from behind. It gets exciting!)

Today was a new experience. Guess what those little holes do in a thunderstorm? Hold a [boat] load of water! On one section I was almost thrown right off the highway as I lost traction on the left side due to hydro-planing (I guess) and the right hand side bit into a puddle. You know when you hit a deep puddle and the car swerves into the puddle? Only this puddle wasn't that deep (not that I could see anyway) it just seemed the weight of my car pushed the water up out of the grooves. Or something. I honestly have no idea what exactly happened, I was too busy [um, having a digestive crisis].

They have to pave those sections, and soon, someone's going to die if they don't.

John Betmanis

I'm sure I've seen continuous "Zamboni" repaving as Jim suggests. It does exist. See http://www.freepatentsonline.com/EP0426892.html


To Wayne:

What did the Ministry of Transport say WAS the problem they're trying solve by grinding the road away?



Such a machine does exist, and has been used for the past few years on roads in Hamilton and Burlington (and elsewhere I'm sure) A quick Google search shows that Hot in Place Recycling (HIR) has been used to resurface portions of the 401. The technology is currently in its 3rd generation, and the contraption is made by a Canadian company no less. (martec.ca)


Before they ground the roads down, the potholes from the winter were horrendous. Entire lanes were so compromised they couldn't patch them anymore, which I believe explains the grinding down.

I have a theory about why it is taking so long. The supply of asphalt. I work for a roofing manufacturer. All traditional shingles are made with asphalt. And given the demand for oil, the company has confirmed that they are finding it harder to secure sources of asphalt. Asphalt is the crud left over from the refining process of oil. Once all the valuable gases have been extracted, asphalt is the waste left behind. The refineries are rumored to be working on methods to refine the asphalt down even further to get more "useful" (read, valuable) products,m shrinking the asphalt supply even more.

If its affecting us, it has to be affecting the government's ability to secure asphalt for paving as well. Or the price is rising so rapidly, heir budget can not cover the rising costs.

Or both.


The grooved road is very rough on my straight truck. So much so that I have had skids or products shift and one broke open. It's very annoying to say the least.

Also this sort of surface killed 1 motorcycle driver up near Washago a while ago. I would not be driving on that stretch if I had the chance on my bike.

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