NORTH SALEM, N.Y.--Highway Superintendent Ward Hanaburgh announced this year’s preliminary paving when he discussed his plans at the Aug. 8 Town Board meeting.  Roads expected to be paved are Deveau Road, Sunset Place, Park Lane, and if funding permits, Old Schoolhouse Road.

Hanaburgh said the cost of paving and correcting drainage issues on Deveau and Sunset will be roughly $200,000, which the board approved. He added that the funds are already in the highway fund balance.

North Salem Supervisor Warren Lucas said that the town pays per ton of blacktop, so the exact cost of the project is an “inexact science.” This year’s state bid list price is $87/ton laid, Lucas said. If the cost is below the $200,000 allotted, what is left can be used to pave a small section of a road elsewhere in town.

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“It can fluctuate up and down a couple of dollars a ton based on the cost of oil,” he said.

Councilwoman Lisa Douglas asked what the Highway Department intends to do regarding drainage issues on Deveau Road specifically, and cited issues with the bridge along the route.

“The water is a problem,” she said. “Even the bridge is getting washed out.” She added that the bridge was recently repaired.

Hanaburgh said that once blacktop is applied to the road in a way that better directs the water, with the addition of curbs, most drainage issues will be resolved.

Lucas said there are about 42 miles of roads in North Salem. With a life expectancy averaging about 12 years, the Highway Department paves about 3-1/2 to 4 miles of roadway annually. While that is the target paving schedule, Lucas said, it doesn’t always unfold according to schedule.

“It depends how long each road lasts,” he said. “Some last about 10 years, some last 20 if the base is good.”

Depending on factors such as traffic volume and the severity of the winter, some roads can last as few as six years, he said.

The money for paving is allocated from the capital budget and varies each year, Lucas said. Some years $100,000 has been granted toward paving and others close to $1 million.

“So, it varies a little bit,” Lucas said. “It depends on what roads he’s doing, and [which] are in worse shape. What [we] want to do is catch up so [we] don’t have a bunch of roads all over the place that are in really bad shape.”

Lucas recalled a period of time between 2006 and 2010 were no funds where budgeted toward paving at all. One million dollars in capital project funds were borrowed to catch up as a result, he said. Now the paving is back on schedule.
“It’s not a big problem, but you just have to kind of keep ahead of it or you’ll have a big issue,” Lucas said.