Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Region of Durham’s Works Department was recently recognized by the Transportation Association of Canada for the Victoria Street widening and re-construction project and its Artificial Intelligence (AI) Road Maintenance Innovation project.
“Thank you to all teams involved in the award-winning projects recognizing Environmental and Technical advancements in road construction and maintenance,” said John Henry, Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer.
“I am pleased to see this innovative work taking place to help ensure our roads are designed and constructed with the safety of Durham Residents and visitors in mind.”
Environmental Achievement Award
Honouring excellence in the protection and enhancement of the natural environment through transportation projects, the Environmental Achievement Award was presented for the Victoria Street Road Widening project.
Work included widening the road through the Lynde Shores Wetland complex and Conservation Area in collaboration with the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority.
The project integrated new structures and wildlife crossing culverts, a wildlife lookout, a wildlife barrier, expansion of Eastern Pond Mussel habitat, creation of a new Shisko Wetland area, and a new multi-use path and storm sewers.
Technology Achievement Award
The Technology Achievement Award was presented for the AI Road Maintenance Innovation project, to recognize excellence in the use of advanced technologies to address road, highway or urban transportation challenges.
Led by works department staff in partnership with Visual Defence Inc., this project allows potholes to be identified using an app called ROVER.
Once the app is installed, smartphones are then mounted on windshields of maintenance vehicles to automatically detect, log, and photograph road deficiencies.
Data is uploaded to the cloud where artificial intelligence confirms, measures and geolocates each deficiency. A resulting heat map allows staff to better understand overall road conditions and plan repairs.
Durham is the first regional municipality to implement ROVER AI for pothole detection in Canada. –
“Congratulations to the works department’s transportation and field services branch on the completion of these award-winning projects. These awards are testaments to the great care that is taken by staff to design and build roads that are safe for both users and the environment, and to incorporate innovative technology to enhance ongoing maintenance activities,” said Jenni Demanuele, acting commissioner of works.