Paving Projects

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Paving Projects

Postby ggkrupp » Thu May 10, 2012 7:43 am

I read the article on Patch this morning concerning Paving projects (http://merrimack.patch.com/articles/summer-roadwork-focus-will-be-on-paving). I am curious, how are town roads selected for the repaving? I assume that volume and the critical nature of the repair needed are factored in but I am curious about how the list is built each year. Does the TC vote on the list based on recommendations from Public Works? Or does the Public Works Director just generate a list based on his allocated budget and his charge to maintain the roads?
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Re: Paving Projects

Postby Brian McCarthy » Thu May 10, 2012 8:03 am

Its been discussed in the past at TC meetings. The roads are rated and priorities are assigned based on the condition and road usage. If you're on a dead end street with a really crappy road, a main road that is traveled much more may end up getting paved first.

And yes, the number of miles that can be done is based on the the bids that come back in. A few years ago, bids came in a lot lower and a few more roads were added to the list.

ggkrupp wrote:I read the article on Patch this morning concerning Paving projects (http://merrimack.patch.com/articles/summer-roadwork-focus-will-be-on-paving). I am curious, how are town roads selected for the repaving? I assume that volume and the critical nature of the repair needed are factored in but I am curious about how the list is built each year. Does the TC vote on the list based on recommendations from Public Works? Or does the Public Works Director just generate a list based on his allocated budget and his charge to maintain the roads?
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Re: Paving Projects

Postby ggkrupp » Thu May 10, 2012 8:14 am

Brian McCarthy wrote:Its been discussed in the past at TC meetings. The roads are rated and priorities are assigned based on the condition and road usage. If you're on a dead end street with a really crappy road, a main road that is traveled much more may end up getting paved first.

And yes, the number of miles that can be done is based on the the bids that come back in. A few years ago, bids came in a lot lower and a few more roads were added to the list.



Thanks Brian. So what you are saying is that because my road is in the corner of a seldom used subdivision that I shouldn't hold my breath. Unfortunately, the lack of attention for at least the 6 years we have lived there means that the frost heaves have made such a mess of the end of the road that by the time it does get attention, it will likely need major repairs. :(
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Re: Paving Projects

Postby andysinnh » Thu May 10, 2012 10:00 am

ggkrupp wrote:Thanks Brian. So what you are saying is that because my road is in the corner of a seldom used subdivision that I shouldn't hold my breath. Unfortunately, the lack of attention for at least the 6 years we have lived there means that the frost heaves have made such a mess of the end of the road that by the time it does get attention, it will likely need major repairs. :(

Gary, unfortunately you're correct. In our neighborhood, there are several small cul-de-sacs that were last paved 30 years ago - and some are getting really chopped up and have lots of heaves/pot holes. Only if the residents of the street call do pot holes get addressed, and then it's with cold-patch. Brian is right that they do a priority list based on traffic, age, condition, and impact analysis. My personal observation is that there are roads that are above the "cut line" and those that are below- and those way near the bottom likely won't get addressed unless something necessitates repaving (like repair of a drain, insertion of town water or sewer, etc). And many of those above the line may be addressed several times over a multi-decade perid due to traffic levels and condition before any of those below-the-line ones even get considered. And given the scrutiny of the budgets each year, my feeling is that any extra spend for catching up on roads is getting more difficult to come by each year...

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Re: Paving Projects

Postby Brian McCarthy » Thu May 10, 2012 1:34 pm

knowing all this, it still can't hurt to contact the DPW and complain. I'm not sure if there is a column for complaints in the database thought :-)
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Re: Paving Projects

Postby Tom Mahon » Thu May 10, 2012 2:45 pm

There is a column for complaints. You are qued in the order received and reviewed in that order. The previous Public Works Director actually told the Council that he used the "squeaky wheel" method to prioritize streets. He's been gone about 4 years.

By the criteria used for the analysis of condition, the town should be spending slightly more than $2M per year based on street mileage and conditions just to stay even, that is, maintain what we have. This year we will spend about $800K. Last year it was much less. The manager recommended $1M, and after the realities of the town's revenue picture ($86K less in state road aid and other costs) it was reduced to the $800K. I was shown the map of the streets that will get attention in the next fiscal year beginning July 1st, it was not much.
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Re: Paving Projects

Postby ggkrupp » Thu May 10, 2012 5:55 pm

Thanks for chiming in Tom ... I was hoping you would since I knew you'd be one of the folks that knew the whole story.
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