Two done, two to go: Town has paving plans

Spring road work’s status is ‘two done and two to go,’ and the town has a list of more than a dozen roads it hopes to repave later this summer to start the 2017-18 program.

Awaiting work on the spring to-do list are North Street, and a section of Barlow Mountain Road. Work on Old Trolley Road was completed May 22, and Remington Road was done April 25.

Roads scheduled for later this summer include: Bobby’s Court, Hamilton Road, High Ridge Avenue, Holmes Road, Indian Cave Road, Lincoln Lane, Little Ridge Road, Mead Ridge Road, a portion of Neds Mountain Road, Old Branchville Road, Old Washington Road, Pilgrim Hill Road, Twin Ridge Road and Westmoreland Road.

Weather is a factor in how much gets done, but First Selectman Rudy Marconi said this spring’s on-and-off rainy weather hasn’t been a huge problem.

“Temperature has more of an impact on road paving than rain. You don’t want to pave when it’s pouring —  and we really haven’t had those kind of days,” Marconi said. “If it’s steady rain, you can’t work through that. You want the asphalt to bind with the under-pavement to create a good bond, and rain cools asphalt.” he said.

Road paving is seasonal — “You don’t want to pave when anything is frozen,” Marconi said — and in this area asphalt plants usually close for the winter in early December.

The town’s July 1 change from one fiscal year to another falls in the middle of the warm weather when paving can be done. So every paving season  includes work done under two different annual budgets.

This year’s spring work is being done with the tail end of 2016-17 budget which appropriated $1,875,000 for roads, drainage and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) infrastructure. Come July the town Highway Department will be working under the 2017-18 budget approved in early May. That budget allocated slightly less — $1,840,000 — for road and infrastructure work.

“In that total number you have $75,000 for ADA compliance projects, you have $40,000 for rock crushing and a couple of hundred thousand for drainage work,” Marconi said.

Since water freezing under the road surface causes the deterioration of pavement, the town routinely makes drainage improvements a part of repaving projects.

Even with the drainage, rock crushing, and ADA projects, the bulk of the appropriation — about $1,525,000 of this year’s $1,840,000 — will go for paving.