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M.D. laying out new plans for future road construction

Roads are going to be handled differently in the M.D. of Bonnyville.

M.D. council was presented with the rough outline of a road classification policy which is meant to categorize roads by usage and condition.

Reeve Greg Sawchuk said it will guide the future planning for road upgrades.

“It’s going to lead to a map of the M.D. which will have every road laid out and it’s going to have a class allocated to it. That’s not just a number that’s picked out of the air, it has a qualitative measurement that is attached to it.

“It’s based on the volume of traffic, number of vehicles per day, the types of vehicles: so be it industry, agriculture, and that’s going to help determine which class.”

Sawchuk believes the map will be finished by September, when council will discuss whether they agree with the classifications.

Roads will be broken down into six categories, with Class 1 and Class 1A roadways carrying over 1,500 vehicles per day with moderate to high truck traffic.

Collector and local roads are ranked Class 2-5.

“They’ll probably be a bit of talk. Do we agree with how certain roads are classed? But there’s actually some science behind it, which I really like. It’s not based strictly on the whim of council that a road be done, that it actually has some justification which I think is important,” said Sawchuk.

Sawchuk said that fixing some roads based on the whim of council is not the way the M.D. should approve projects.

“It’s far too opinionated…you end up getting a bit of competition between wards. We’re supposed to be looking at the M.D. as a whole and even though you’ve got councillors representing a ward, when they vote on something, they’re voting on the entire muncipality, so we have to look out for the entire road structure we have out there.”