Road Upgrade Policy

​The Municipality has approximately 1500 km of asphalt surfaced roads and approximately 200 km of Bituminous Surface Treated (BST or otherwise know as Tar & Chip) roads. The Municipality is responsible for the overall maintenance and upkeep of these roads.

Chatham-Kent residents can submit a request to upgrade a road adjacent to their property. There are three types of upgrade requests that can be considered:

  • Converting a gravel road to asphalt or BST (tar & chip)
  • Converting a BST (tar & chip) road to asphalt
  • Improving the pavement quality of an asphalt or BST (tar & chip) road

Ontario Regulation 586/06 of the Municipal Act, 2001 allows municipalities to raise the cost associated with undertaking a capital work, like upgrading a road, from owners of properties abutting the proposed work. This means that the cost associated with a successful proposed local improvement project becomes the responsibility of owners whose properties about the defined project.

The Process

  • Owners submit Petition for Road Upgrade.
  • The Municipality evaluates the petition for sufficiency.
  • The Municipality reviews sufficient petition and estimates project cost.
  • The Municipality provides owners with a Notice of Intention.
  • Council passes a local improvement by-law.
  • The engineering consultant provides a detailed engineering design.
  • Engineering consultant manages the tendering process.
  • Successful tender bidder implements the project.
  • Municipality assesses properties and determines special charges.
  • Council passes a special charge by-law.
  • Owners pay their special charge(s) through property taxes.

Applying for a Road Upgrade or Improvement

To propose a road upgrade or improvement, owners must complete a Petition for Road Upgrade and mail to:

Municipality of Chatham-Kent Civic Centre
315 King Street West
Chatham, ON N7M 5K8

In the petition, owners will define the following:

  • Location of proposed upgrade or improvement
  • Scope of the proposed upgrade or improvement
  • Type of upgrade or improvement

The petition also provides a general estimate of upgrade costs, so that owners understand their commitments. By signing the petition, an owner is confirming understanding of the proposal, estimated cost and factors that may affect cost.

Once the petition is submitted to the Municipality, the Municipal Clerk will evaluate it for sufficiency. A sufficient petition is one that satisfies two conditions: 

  • Signatures of 2/3 of owners whose lots are liable to be assessed
  • Signed owners represent 1/2 of the total value of the lots liable to be assessed

Only a sufficient petition will be reviewed by Infrastructure and Engineering Services (IES) to provide an initial estimate. 

Objecting to a Road Upgrade or Improvement

Once owners receive the Notice of Intention from IES and before Council passes a local improvement by-law, owners have 30 days in which they can submit a petition against undertaking the proposed work. A sufficient petition against the work satisfies two conditions: 

  • Signatures of the majority of owners whose lots are liable to be assessed
  • Signed owners represent 1/2 of the total value of the lots liable to be assessed

Only sufficient petitions against undertaking a work received by the Municipality within the allotted timeframe will have the power to cancel the proposed project. 

Estimating the Project Cost

The online petition form includes approximate costs per road kilometre that help owners estimate the cost of their proposal. However, a number of factors can affect the project cost including road geometry, surfacing type, base work, utility relocation/replacement, drainage work and land purchasing.

Effectively, there are four stages of estimating a project cost:  

  • At-Signing Estimate: An estimate derived by owners using figures indicated in the online petition form. This high-level estimate considers only the cost of paving a road segment with asphalt or BST (surface cost).
  • Desktop Review Estimate: An estimate performed by IES staff through a desktop review, which will be identified in the Notice of Intention. This estimate considers the road geometry, surfacing cost, partial utility relocation/replacement, and potential land purchasing.
  • Engineer's Estimate: This estimate is based on field investigations and detailed project design performed by a third-party engineer. It considers all factors that may affect the total project cost. This estimate calls for an investment of approximately $30,000. 
  • Tender Price: The tender price is usually within 10% of the engineer's estimate, but may vary according to received bids. 

Owners whose lots are liable to be assessed are responsible for paying their share of the actual total project costs after project implementation.

Please note that all owners benefitting from the road upgrade or improvement take part in levying the project cost. 

Repayment Options

After project implementation, the Municipality will assess each benefitting lot and allocate a special charge to lot owners. The special charge will take a priority lien status and will be recovered by adding it to the owner's property tax roll.

Owners may pay their special charge(s) in a lump sum or in regular payments. Owners must follow the Municipality's policies relating to financing options and interest rates (i.e. By-law 183-2017).