Interesting Canadian Roads

7 12 2008

All roads in Canada, and perhaps Nova Scotia in particular, are subject to freeze/thaw cycles that go through far greater temperature ranges than in the U.K. Minus forty degrees centigrade to plus ten in a 36 hour period is not uncommon. This can cause considerable ground heave and when the roads are newly thawed, they are very soft. When in this condition the transit of large trucks can create two furrows where their wheels travel. Come the next frost, these furrows are locked in and often leave the road in this condition with only minor modification by summer’s warmth. A perfect example of this is provided by the road outside our driveway.

No 800 and our red mail box

No 800 and our red mail box

Part of the problem is not weather related however. 

Many of the rural roads have never been “constructed” in the first place. The original gravel road has merely had a skin, or several skins of tar slapped down on top of it. This is evidenced by the frost heaving up large boulders from the old road right through the tar surface.


Additionally the side or verge of the road frequently shows signs of tar with insufficient stone content for summer temperatures.


Because of the need to sometimes plough large amounts of snow off the road, almost none have any kerbing leading to ill defined and broken verges.


Of course the winter weather means that any repairs have to wait until summer, but at least the road crews do some quality work.

Road repair

Road repair

Sometimes though the winter is so severe that the problem is just ignored.


So if you come across to visit us do not expect your travel to be silky smooth. But what the ****, we still manage to get around without having to resort to the birch bark canoe!




3 responses

8 12 2008
Anne Logie

Well done Jeff .I think we will just stick to Scotland.
Love Anne.

20 11 2009

“Homelike” roads except the last photo. I have never seen anything like that, is it really a road?

23 11 2009

Yes, it was a road, but this was it after a hurricane, when the incoming sea caused all that damage.

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