The utility companies that have been working extensively in the downtown now are obtaining state permits to re-pave the areas that have been dug up, official said Tuesday.
Aquarion and Eversource are planning to take care of stretches of Cherry and Main Streets this spring, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann.
“And then once the asphalt plants open and everyone is rolling and the weather is cooperating—we try to get a little bit of the moisture out of the ground—our contractors will go in and do [re-pave] Brinckerhoff, Mortimer and Lockwood,” Mann told members of the Board of Selectmen during their regular meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference.
The town is expecting to receive bids next week for paving work that addresses 10 of New Canaan’s 20 lowest-rated roads, Mann said.
“The other 10 have either another project on top of it, like a water main going in or a gas main going in, or they’ll be later on in the season,” he said. “So we’ll be taking care of the ‘bottom 20’ segments of our road work this year. So we’ll be actually complete with our entire program a year or so in advance of where we thought we would be. If Eversource hadn’t come in, we would probably be two or three years in advance but it’s fine, we’re still ahead of the game.”
The comments came in response to a question from Selectman Nick Williams regarding the status of downtown roads. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, Selectman Kathleen Corbet and Williams voted 3-0 in favor of a $100,000 contract with New England Paving for pavement repairs and management.
The town has been working with the company for 10-plus years, and it does excellent work at a good price for New Canaan, Mann said. Once, after the town had done about a dozen large-scale patches on Silvermine Road, DPW did a test-drive where Mann closed his eyes while being driven on the road, and he couldn’t tell where the patches were, he said.
“So that’s exactly what we want, when we repair a utility trench or repair an area, that the phone call dies,” he told the selectmen. “The phone call stops. Because that’s what generating the phone call is a resident driving over it two, three times a day, bu-bump bu-bump bu-bump, and then all the sudden we get rid of it, and the phone call goes away and then rider satisfaction goes up, user satisfaction goes up and that’s exactly what we want.”
The selectmen asked Mann whether funds for the town’s portion of the paving work is contained in the pavement management program budget (yes, it’s a $250,000 annual item that’s divided into two phases of work), and whether the cost of asphalt is affecting the overall project cost it will but (it’s not clear yet how much because the bidding process is still underway).
In addition to the work in the downtown and the Brinckerhoff-Mortimer-Lockwood area (near where state Routes 106 and 124 converge), the town this year is planning to put out a bid for (Eversource-funded) re-paving work in the area north of Farm Road between main and Park Streets, all the way up to Oak Street, Mann said.
The state then is planning to re-pave about seven miles of town roads, including the northern stretches of Routes 123 and 124 and a section of Route 106 on the east side of New Canaan, he said.
“There will be a lot of material going down this year in town, so it should be a good year for us in that regard, “Mann said.