YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Yorktown’s 2017 paving schedule will be four times faster than average, officials said last week, when they confirmed the $2.2 million paving project that was outlined last month.
With the resources that have been available to Yorktown in recent years, Highway Superintendent Dave Paganelli said that at the town’s average pace of 5.5 miles annually, it would take 37 years to complete one cycle of paving Yorktown’s 203 miles of road. Thanks to a $1.4 million commitment from the town, on top of about $535,000 the town received this year in state funds, and the town’s usual $250,000 allotment, the highway department can conceivably pave up to 20 miles of roads this year alone.
If the town maintains what, Paganelli said, is a strong fiscal position, and the town allocates even just half as much per year moving forward, he said it would put the highway department on a 16-year paving schedule.
“We’ve got the town into a position where this is going to be an annual maintenance program,” said Supervisor Michael Grace at a press conference on Tuesday, June 27. He said that there has been, “a huge cry from the community to do this.”
“There are roads that are going to be paved in Yorktown that haven’t seen asphalt in 30 to 40 years,” he said.
Paganelli said, so far, just two roads have been selected for paving this year: Baldwin Road/Mohansic East (where the press conference was held) and Underhill Avenue, which are Yorktown’s only two town-controlled access roads to the Taconic State Parkway. The project is scheduled to start in mid-August and is anticipated to be completed by the end of fall, Paganelli said.
He and Grace also spoke of roads on the southern and northern ends of town such as Wood Street, Perry Street and Spring Valley Road, which haven’t received the same attention as more densely populated areas.
“What’s very nice about this particular cycle of paving, is that [those who live] where there is a lower density of population, [will get] their due,” Paganelli said.
Until recent years, Paganelli said “very little in the way of infrastructure repair” was done under previous administrations, putting the highway department at a disadvantage.
“It’s very hard to overcome two or three or four years, when no money was put into paving,” he said. “For whatever reason the occurrence happened, it’s very hard to make up that time and this is going to be a huge shot in the arm to get us back on schedule.”
In addition to shortening the schedule, Paganelli said that Yorktown will be using, for the first time ever, a newer material and method that can preserve the road for up to 12 years.
The method involves a polymer-modified asphalt emulsion that is placed down before the paver, which delivers about an inch of mixed materials on top. The two bond together to form what, Paganelli called, “superglue for the road.”
Under optimal conditions, Paganelli said, traditional paving methods can last up to three years longer, but at 40 to 50 percent less cost, opting for the newer method was a “no-brainer.”
Paganelli first heard of the material after a monthly meeting where superintendents from other regional municipalities meet up over lunch to share ideas, and listen to educational speakers. He said the product comes “highly recommended” from other municipalities.
Wanting to see for themselves, he and Grace rode to a neighboring municipality to check on the “capabilities and wear” of one of the roads the town used the new material on.
“That road does not come up,” Paganelli said.