Bond package for road repairs passes

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A bond package for road repairs was approved Monday at a town meeting in Beacon Falls. Among the roads to be repaired is Highland Avenue. The work will include removing the telephone pole that is pictured and setting it back off the road. –LUKE MARSHALL
A bond package for road repairs was approved Monday at a town meeting in Beacon Falls. Among the roads to be repaired is Highland Avenue. The work will include removing the telephone pole that is pictured and setting it back off the road. –LUKE MARSHALL

BEACON FALLS — Voters authorized bonding up to $2.1 million for road repairs at a town meeting Monday night.

The vote was 24 to 2 in favor with one abstention.

The money will pay for repairs to Burton Road, Highland Avenue and Noe Place.

Burton Road will be completely repaved and the drainage system will be reconstructed along the road.

Noe Place needs to be completely reclaimed due to the amount of water damage the road has seen over the years. This means the pavement needs to be dug up and replaced. The town plans to reclaim 800 feet of road, remove the median and add drainage on Noe Place.

The bond will also cover repairs to Highland Avenue from Burton Road to North Circle. The work will include removing the telephone pole that is in the street and setting it back, fixing drainage and replacing sidewalks.

The town has received a $200,000 grant to pay for repaving the rest of Highland Avenue from North Circle to the cul-de-sac.

Board of Finance member Joe Rodorigo questioned if the town has any plans to ensure the work doesn’t go over budget.

“Do we have current estimates on all this work so that, when this is all done, that nobody is coming back to us for more money because they couldn’t accomplish everything on the streets,” Rodorigo said.

First Selectman Christopher Bielik said each project has a contingency between 10 and 15 percent built in.

Town Engineer Jim Galligan added the cost for similar projects are coming in lower than expected.

“I’m bidding six to eight of these projects now and all the bids coming in are under what our estimates are at this point,” Galligan said.

Todd Doiron, who lives on Highland Avenue, raised a concern that the project will replace aprons along driveways. Doiron said his car is low to the ground. He said if the apron is at too steep the bottom of his car will scrap it.

Galligan said the plan is to replace aprons as they currently are in regards to slope and material. Galligan said the slope could be lessened by stretching the apron a little farther up the driveway.

“Once we start getting into construction or you see the people out there, let them know and we’ll make sure we stretch your apron out a little farther. That goes for anyone who lives on any of the streets,” Galligan said.

Ed Groth asked why the road repairs weren’t included in the municipal budget since it’s considered a capital repair.

Rodorigo said the way the town is currently paying for the repairs will have no impact on taxes.

Officials previously discussed a plan to issue a 10-year bond and pay it back using the money the town receives from the state for road work and $500,000 from a general fund surplus transfer.

Bielik said the hope is for the contracts to be awarded by the end of the month.

“It will probably take four weeks or so for the notes to actually be issued on the market. Since we have the approval we can go forward with soliciting bids right now,” Bielik said. “We’re hoping we can open bids and award contracts before the end of the month.”

1 COMMENT

  1. Not included in the Highland Ave portion of the project is the possible cost to replace the water main. This was last touched ca1910 when it was installed and is an undersized pipe for today’s water usage. Not replacing this aging infrastructure while the roadbed is exposed, would be a mistake on the part of the current administration. To be fair, there are discussions on-going with the water company to do this work, but the question of who pays for it is not resolved.