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Council OKs update to 5-year plan for roadway paving and drainage

The town has updated its roadway paving and drainage priorities for the coming years.

The Town Council on Oct. 14, 2015 approved an update to the five-year roadway priorities plan that was adopted in 2013. At that time the council also accepted a pavement management study conducted by Gorrill-Palmer Consulting Engineers, which Malley said has provided guidance in determining where to spend limited funds available for road improvements.

Now, three years into the plan, the town has made good progress on paving collector roads such as Spurwink Avenue, and Sawyer, Charles E. Jordan, Old Ocean House and Fowler roads; as well as some local roads based on paving recommendations. "We now need to shift our focus to the remainder of our collectors (Scott Dyer Road and Shore Road) which are in need of attention and still address some local road paving needs," Public Works Director Robert Malley said in a narrative accompanying the pavement plan for 2017-2021.

Following a three-year water-main replacement project, Scott Dyer Road is ready for pavement work, but Malley told members of the Town Council that it won't be a simple overlay project. "Scott Dyer's probably our third busiest road behind Route 77 and Shore Road, it's a major connector from the neighborhoods of the shorefront up to the Recycling Center and the school campus, and that includes Hill Way, so we really need to look comprehensively," he said.

The plan calls for a "complete street" approach, taking into account sidewalks, drainage, lighting and even trees. The $355,000 projected cost is a rough estimate, one that should become clearer after the scope of work is defined through a preliminary engineering study planned for this year.

Paving and drainage work is also planned for Shore Road in 2018, but the town is also working with the Portland Water District to be sure paving occurs after anticipated water-main replacement there. "If we pave that road and put the investment in it we don't want it dug up in five years," Malley said. This month Public Works planned to cover parts of Shore Road with a very thin layer over a rough section between Birch Knolls and Stonybrook Road to ease plowing, use of salt and minimize springtime repairs. [news article]

Work on Eastman, Fessenden and Broad Cove roads, as well as a section of Mitchell Road that wasn't completed this year, are also planned for subsequent years, as is a section of Route 77 from Fowler Road to the Scarborough line.

Estimated cost for the five-year plan is $2.5 million, an average of $500,000 each year. "The paving process is not inexpensive," Malley told members of the council. Cost of paving a typical, 22-foot-wide residential streetis approximately $114,000. "When you have a paving budget of $400,000, you can do the math and realize that it doesn't go that far, but we try to make excellent use of those dollars and spread them out as wisely as we can," Malley said.

The plan recommends looking into the Maine Department of Transportation's Municipal Partnership Initiative, which pays for 50 percent of eligible projects.