NB’s Magnetic Hill Road to be Chip-sealed

City officials in Moncton, N.B., say the road on Magnetic Hill needs repair, but it must be done carefully.

"You certainly don't want to be part of anything that will destroy the illusion," said Bruce Dougan, the general manager of the Magnetic Hill Zoo.

"I certainly don't want to be part of that so we want to be very careful."

The trees, the vegetation and the geography of Magnetic Hill all conspire to create an optical illusion that a slight downhill slope appears to be an uphill slope.

According to the city of Moncton, between 60,000 and 80,000 tourists visit the hill each year. Many take a vehicle, put it in neutral and watch as it appears to roll up the hill.

Dougan said 15 years ago, the road was chip-sealed for the first time. Now, the city has hired Hatch Mott MacDonald — a U.S.-based engineering firm — for advice on how to do it again while keeping the optical illusion intact.

"We've had that experience. We've done our due diligence and we know we can do it without ruining the illusions," said Dougan.

"We have a competent firm that is going to address this issue and hopefully we'll have a very successful finish to this project."

City officials plan to start chip-sealing the Magnetic Hill road within a few days, at a cost of about $100,000.

Original source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/story/2011/11/22/nb-magnetic-hill-road-repairs.html