Finally, we’re over the hump

August 3, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Tom Claridge

BACK IN THE 1970s, as Orangeville was starting to grow far beyond its postwar population of around 3,000, the Township of Mono was welcoming developers’ proposals for semi-urban “estate” subdivisions.

The first two were a short drive north of Orangeville – Starrview Acres on the west side of Highway 10, and Cedar Grove on the other side of the highway.

Both were built to the standards of the day, with paved streets but no sidewalks, curbs or streetlights. The lots were each roughly half an acre, with ditches instead of storm sewers, drilled wells and septic systems.

In the 40-plus years since those two subdivisions were started, standards have changed multiple times. Initially, the dictum from Queen’s Park was that septic systems required much larger lots, so newer subdivisions in the area such as Garafraxa Woods, Island Lake and Cardinal Woods invariably featured two-acre lots and as the rules continued to change featured street-lighting, sidewalks, storm sewers instead of ditches, and municipal water supplies. Even more recently, new provincial laws have permitted much smaller lots in Mono’s newest subdivisions, the Watermark one north of Monora Park and the huge new one on the east side of the First Line EHS.

With the exception of the one on Purple Hill which features concrete, all Mono’s subdivisions have asphalt streets that have to be resurfaced from time to time.

In the case of the Cedar Grove subdivision, where the Claridge family has lived since 1975, the paving was in stages, mainly because the subdivision was never fully completed and it was only a couple of years ago that two of the three remaining empty lots were built upon.

Perhaps because of a decline in the real estate market, the subdivision’s Robinson Road wasn’t fully opened until about 20 years ago and thus didn’t need to be repaved in the 1990s when the original streets got a fresh coat of asphalt.

Last year, a contract the Town of Mono let to Fermar saw all the streets repaved save for Cedar Grove Rd., which got a new surface along with the installation of traffic signals at its intersection with Highway 10.

At least some of us thought that was it for another 10 or 15 years, but in the spring signs went up warning of more construction work that could cause traffic delays.

As it turned out, the Town had determined to do more than simply apply a finishing coat to the Fermar job. Ultimately, Aecon and two sobcontractors were involved in a project that included the reconstruction of portions of almost all the driveways.

The Claridge driveway was fairly typical. Beautifully paved by Coppertone in 1976 or 1977, it was in such good shape that until two years ago all we had to do was arrange for sealing every few years.

The exception was an occasion when we were approached by an out-of-town firm offering an option alleged to be vastly superior to ordinary sealing.

The rather costly option involved a combination of oil and fine pebbles, which the entrepreneur assured us would give us a new-looking, attractive surface. Unfortunately, the result was far short of that, because we wound up with too little oil and too many pebbles, which instead of becoming bound up in the new pavement got tracked into the house.

For some reason, the Town of Mono never sent out written notices this spring advising residents of just what was planned, and rumours spread that the project would involve replacing all culverts at the foot of driveways.

In fact, all that was planned was the elimination of humps that had developed over the years at most, but not all, of the driveways.

As the first phase of the project, marks were made on all the ‘humped’ driveways and a few days later back hoes removed the pavement. Other equipment smoothed the surfaces and fresh asphalt from the Aecon plant north of 20 Sideroad was brought in and steamrolled.

The main phase of the project saw the entire subdivision resurfaced by Aecon in a single day, the main problem being that it was a Tuesday, the County’s waste removal day for Mono, and we didn’t see GFL trucks doing their job until late the next day.

A chat with Mike Dunmore, Mono’s Public Works manager, disclosed that Aecon, which we thought did only major projects such as the planned work on Highway 10 this summer, was low bidder for not just the Cedar Grove work but on other repaving projects on Purple Hill and elsewhere in Mono.

Perhaps one factor in the bidding-war victory was the presence of the asphalt plant so close at hand.

And I suspect that gave us a real benefit, in that hot-mix asphalt is going to cool if it has to be hauled long distances.

Whatever the case, it was an excellent job done by a mainly local workforce, and the hump on our driveway is gone, hopefully for more than a few years.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.