Canadian Consulting Engineer

Selkirk adopts Winnipeg’s road construction standards based on U of M research

April 3, 2020   By CCE

U of M research

Pictured left to right are Selkirk asset management/GIS technician Megan Jakilazek, director of operations Dan McDermid, manager of public works Ryan Sicinski and U of M professor Ahmed Shalaby. Photo credit: City of Selkirk.

Following a five-year asset management improvement project, the city of Selkirk, Man., has adopted the same road construction standards as are used in Winnipeg, based on extensive research by the University of Manitoba’s (U of M’s) municipal infrastructure chair, Ahmed Shalaby.

Shalaby began teaching at U of M’s department of civil engineering in 1998, is presently a professor and head of the department and has extensive expertise in pavement and infrastructure engineering and management. The university initiated his role in the municipal infrastructure chair program in 2016 with the support of government and the construction industry.

“Through laboratory tests and field trials, the research has demonstrated material specifications and construction practices need to be revised,” he says. “Selkirk’s decision to adopt the updated standards will result in better and longer-lasting roads and will assist in bridging the gap in infrastructure funding by reducing maintenance and renewal needs.”

“Our investment into data collection, life-cycle analysis, policy and procedure development is returning value,” says Duane Nicol, Selkirk’s chief administrative officer (CAO). “The university has developed new standards for base, sub-base and asphalt materials. Even if we can get 5% of extra good-quality life out of our roads, we’re saving millions of dollars.”

“As more and more of Manitoba’s municipalities do the same, we become closer to having one provincial standard that is understood by all contractors, eliminating the variation in road construction quality and ensuring infrastructure funds are spent responsibly,” says Megan Jakilazek, asset management and geographic information system (GIS) technician for Selkirk.


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