Touted as the largest public-private highway project in Canada, the massive Autoroute 30 skirting Montréal is much more than just another road job. The project’s forward looking approach will ease traffic congestion in the Montréal area, build a more effective road network and advance economic growth.
With a matrix of bridges, tunnels, interchanges and many miles of new expressway, the $1.5 billion CAD Autoroute 30 consolidates Highways 10, 15, 20, 30, 40 and 540 for easier access to markets in Montérégie, Ontario and the United States. The western section of the new highway, built by the public-private partnership Nouvelle Autoroute 30 Consortium, extends 21.7 miles from Vandreil-Dorion to Chateauguay. An additional 4.3 miles will link the new highway to Route 201 in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield.
Nouvelle Autoroute 30 s.e.n.c. has responsibility for designing, constructing, operating, maintaining and financing the highway’s western section. When the project is completed, the consortium doesn’t just walk away from the new highway. It has responsibility over the road for 35 years.
Therefore, it’s in the best interest of Nouvelle Autoroute 30 s.e.n.c. to construct the new four-lane roadway in not only the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible but also in a way that minimizes future maintenance costs.
The highway pavement includes a combination of asphalt and concrete surfaces. For the asphalt segments, the ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) is requiring contractors to use paving techniques designed to enable the road to last for decades with minimal maintenance.
Three Québec paving contractors – Pavages Chenail of St. Rémi; Dorval Paving and Roxboro Excavation of Dorval – are currently paving Autoroute 30’s western asphalt section. More than 595,250 tons of asphalt will be used to build the new road from the ground up.
A total of 10.8 inches of asphalt is being laid in four lifts to construct the new road. The base lift consists of an ESG-5 anti-shock asphalt layer with 0.20-inch stone laid in one 3-inch layer. The following two, 3.1-inch-thick intermediate lifts consist of a GB-20 mix made with 0.79-inch aggregate. The final ESG-10 surface course with its 0.39-inch stone is paved at a 1.6-inch thickness.
Contractors on the project are required to keep the paving train moving in a non-stop manner to help improve mat quality.
“Paving continuously helps the contractor avoid truck-end segregation,” says Bill Rieken, paver application specialist for Terex Roadbuilding.
Developing a continuous paving process begins with the contractors ensuring they have the right number of trucks to deliver enough asphalt to keep the paving train in motion.
“Determining the number of trucks required for continuous paving comprises a range of factors, including distance between the plant and jobsite, round trip travel time, truck capacity and the number of tons per hour being paved,” explains John Lefebvre, president of Lefco Equipment, Inc. of Laval, Québec, a Terex Roadbuilding distributor.
Second, the paving train must have enough surge capacity to keep the paver in motion during truck exchanges. While it is possible to continuously pave by unloading asphalt directly into the mainline paver’s hopper, crews on the western section of Autoroute 30 are using a material transfer vehicle.
“An MTV provides additional surge capacity for the paving train, giving crews more time to pave between truck exchanges,” says Rieken.
For the Autoroute 30 project, one common thread linking all three paving contractors is the type of paver being fed by the MTV. “The paver of choice is the Terex CR662RM RoadMix,” says Lefebvre.
Rieken adds, “The CR662RM can be used either as a paver or an MTV, and the contractors on this project have chosen to equip them as pavers.”
Rieken goes on to explain the difference between the CR662RM and a traditional mainline paver. “Whereas traditional pavers use slats to move material from the hopper to the spreading augers, the CR662RM RoadMix paver has variable-pitch, counter-rotating augers inside the hopper.”