Here’s how Coco Paving revived the Gardiner in a single weekend

gardiner expressway Coco Paving

In Canada’s largest city, there are few pieces of infrastructure that generate as much conversation as the Gardiner Expressway. 

The municipal expressway runs through Toronto, for about 20 km, from the Highway 427 in the west to the Don Valley Parkway in the east end of the city. 

Each day, the Gardiner carries about 200,000 vehicles into the downtown core from the west end of the city, and about 120,000 vehicles from the east. 

With that amount of traffic, the Gardiner requires an annual closure for maintenance. 

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In 2018, Coco Paving was recruited to tackle the milling and asphalt paving of about 6 km of the eastbound lanes from Dufferin Street to the Don Valley Parkway, as well as about 4.5 km of the westbound lanes from York Street to Jameson Avenue.  

The timeline for completion was a single weekend in October. 

“The keys to success included a strong team effort, with good project management,” said Anthony Rossi, director of the Coco Group of Companies. “There was a solid coordination of the crews and equipment, together with strong quality control to ensure we produced and placed a quality product.”

Although scheduled for October, Mother Nature had different plans, and a rainy weekend delayed the project until the first weekend of November. 

“We worked around wet and cooler temperatures to ensure completion,” Rossi said. “The works had to be completed within the weekend timeline, as per the contractual requirements.  However, due to the weather, the alternate weekend date was selected.”

Tackling the Gardiner Expressway

To complete the Gardiner roadwork, Coco Paving used eight asphalt pavers, eight material transfer vehicles, 24 rollers, seven large milling machines, two medium milling machines, four small milling machines, six sweepers and several triaxles. 

“We manufactured asphalt from two plants and utilized eight asphalt crews and seven milling crews to participate,” Rossi said. 

In the end, Coco Paving used 8,400 tonnes of Superpave 12.5FC2 and completed the project on time. 

“Coco was able to utilize resources, including personnel — labourers, operators, drivers and equipment — from various regional divisions to ensure the works were executed on a timely basis,” Rossi said. 

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As well, Coco Paving’s work on the Gardiner earned the company a nomination for the Municipal Paving Project of the Year Award. The purpose of the award, presented by the Ontario Asphalt Pavement Council, is to recognize successful collaboration between municipalities and hot mix asphalt producers for excellence and innovation in paving projects in Ontario.

Coco Paving was created by Nina and William Coco in 1964, in Windsor, Ontario. Coco Paving’s focus was on concrete work for its first three decades, until the company acquired its first asphalt plant.

In 2009, the company made its largest acquisition, by purchasing 31 asphalt plants from Lafarge and its heavy construction division in Ontario and Quebec. The acquisition made Coco Paving the largest road paving heavy construction company in Ontario.