The Roadrunner Magazine Feature: “A Safer Fix”


(official publication of Public Works Association of British Columbia, the Alberta Public Works Association, Manitoba Public Works Association, and the Alberta Municipal Supervisors Association)

Driving on unpaved roads can be a challenge. With bumpy, washboard intersections, loose, unbound surfaces often give the sensation of driving on marbles, which results in large dust clouds that obscure visibility and detrimentally impact health and the environment. In addition to safety and environmental concerns, gravel roads are costly to manage. Frequent grader maintenance is required to redistribute the aggregate evenly across the surface and new aggregate must be added regularly to replace what is lost. Meanwhile, dust is often managed with the use of toxic road salts like magnesium chloride that are harmful for vegetation, land animals, and aquatic life. It also causes costly damage to vehicles and infrastructure because of its corrosive properties.

According to Transport Canada (as reported by the National Road Network), 60 per cent, or about 626,700 kilometres, of all roads in Canada are unpaved. Enter Cypher Environmental, a Canadian company based in Winnipeg, Man., that engineers highly effective, easy to use, and environmentally friendly solutions to the problems commonly caused by unpaved roads. Cypher’s superior soil stabilization and dust control products were specifically designed to reduce operating expenses and turn standard unpaved roads into durable, high-performing roadways.

Cypher Environmental’s ROAD//STABILIZR® is a long-term soil-stabilization solution providing a hard, durable road surface that will perform for many years with very little maintenance required. It is a non-toxic, non-corrosive, clay-based stabilizer that releases water from the soil, enabling it to be compacted to a denser form, while manipulating the clay in the soil to bind it together permanently, increasing its strength and stability.

One of the first roads in Manitoba to be treated with ROAD//STABILIZR is located in the RM of Cornwallis, a rural municipality surrounding Brandon, Man. Many of the unpaved roads in Cornwallis are haul roads that are heavily trafficked by more than 300 gravel trucks per day and require constant maintenance to keep them in good operating order. One particularly busy gravel hauling road – Curries Landing Road – required a water truck to spray up to three applications of water per day to control dust and grader maintenance at least twice per week. Additionally, two to three applications per season of magnesium chloride were required to help suppress dust. This treatment was costing the municipality thousands in maintenance each year.


Cypher Environmental is a leading global environmental solution provider for dust control and road stabilization. With ESG (Environmental Social Governance) and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) principles at the core of every decision we make, we proudly boast the tag line, “Always do what’s right.”.

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