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City to investigate why River Road is crumbling

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Much of River Road in east London, Ont. continues to crumble into a mosaic of patches and potholes.

In a report to the Civic Works Committee, city engineers admit that an industrial stretch of River Road and a portion of Scanlan Street have degraded to a point beyond needing just repaving.

“The Pavement Quality Index (PQI) for River Road and Scanlan Street ranges between 28 and 34, which is a poor rating and indicates that rehabilitation is required,” the report reads.

The reason that the asphalt deteriorates faster than on other local roads is uncertain, so the committee recommends spending $313,000 for a consultant to investigate and design a more resilient roadway.

“We’ll drill some boreholes into the road and figure out if it needs to be strengthened,” explained Doug MacRae, director of Transportation and Mobility. “We suspect that’s the case, but the goal of this consultant’s assignment is to look at that in detail and figure out what the right solution is.”

Map of study area proposed by city engineers. (Source: Google Maps)

Ian Cook frequently takes River Road to the London Model Aircraft Club.

He said conditions have steadily worsened since the number of heavy trucks in the area increased.

“The road is just terrible,” Cook told CTV News. “It’s supposed to be two lanes, but because the sides are so potholed, it’s pretty much down to a single lane.”

River Road carries an estimated 4,000 vehicles each day.

Crumbling asphalt on a section of Scanlan Street in London, Ont., as seen on Dec. 8,

Although it’s posted as a no-truck route, if one of the industries along the road is their destination, truck drivers are permitted to use it.

Since daily use by heavy trucks traveling to the automotive and cement industries will continue, the city is eager to get the engineering study underway.

“The goal is to arrange for a construction project in 2025,” said MacRae.

Council will consider approving the consultant’s contract on Dec. 19.

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