Paul Ingham Director of Operations, City of Markham, Ontario, Canada
As Director of Operations for the City of Markham, Paul Ingham is responsible for policy development, program planning, fiscal management, administration, and operational direction of the City’s Operations Department. Areas of responsibility include the activities and operations related to roads, parks, forestry, horticulture, storm water system, traffic operations, as well as, fleet procurement and maintenance.
Coordination of the City’s Road Rehabilitation Program resides within the Roads Department which falls under Paul’s direction. Paul recognizes this is an evolving initiative and has encouraged his staff in generating new and innovative approaches within the program and encourages challenges to conventional approaches. He takes personal responsibility for the program to ensure it recognizes triple bottom-line results, Financial, Societal and Environmental.
Through Paul’s guidance, the City of Markham started utilizing FDR with Foamed Asphalt Stabilization in an urban environment in 2002, recognizing the treatment as a more cost effective and environmentally friendly alternative to milling and overlay, being the preferred rehabilitation strategy at the time. Soon after implementing the new technology, Paul was able to recognize other benefits unforeseen during the initial conception stage pertaining to performance. The City quickly realized that cracks were not observed the next spring in the FDR treatment as historically observed in the mill and overlay jobs. In essence, since the existing asphalt was being reclaimed to the full depth, the process removed all deficiencies associated with the aging infrastructure including cracking, rutting, and deformations providing a structurally enhanced, smooth pavement.
Implementing a conventional rural technology into an urban environment presented many challenges that the City staff needed to overcome. Work duration, accessibility for residents and businesses, consistent product quality, and management of the maintenance holes and valve chambers caused the public to often question the approach of the City on many different levels. Paul was able to educate internal management, council, and the public through seminars and public meetings to ensure all stakeholders understood the long-term vision which helped them cope with some of the short-term challenges.
Paul and his team were proactive to rectify these challenges quickly to ensure that they didn’t pose an adverse effect on their planned program. To their credit, the City also works closely with their contractors to ensure that the proper construction methods are exercised to optimize performance and social acceptance. The implementation of the single unit paver-laid recycling train has allowed the City to realize many benefits as historically, a grader laid method was employed where the pavement was pulverized, the access material was removed by a grader and loader, and the resultant pulverized material was stabilized with foamed asphalt. With a single unit train, the recycling operations have been consolidated to obtain benefits such as: increased public accessibility, decrease in construction duration, superior material size and blending, and a consistent compaction across the width of treatment.