Irwin road plan might need to be adjusted

| Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Irwin Council hopes to get its street resurfacing program on the road this summer.

But the board might need to cut its preliminary list of 14 streets, with an estimated cost of $387,800, nearly in half to meet its $200,000 budget.

Manager Mary Benko said it's not uncommon for preliminary street program budgets to exceed the borough's budget.

“We usually have about $400,000 in need, with only about $200,000 available,” she said. “We're going to be working on creating a prioritized list.”

Council President John Cassandro suggested looking into tar and chipping roads in an attempt to save money and get more road repairs done.

He said it could be the most cost-effective way to address the streets.

Last year, officials discussed using tar and chips to repair roadways throughout the borough, but balked after hearing complaints from residents, Bove said.

Tar and chips might be effective on Pennsylvania Avenue, which has a lot of cracking, Bove said, but he suggested sealing individual cracks on Pennsylvania Avenue, instead of using tar and chips.

“If we tar and chip, some residents may bring some of the stones to council chambers and throw them at us,” Bove said.

“We will get complaints about the gravel, and we'd have to repaint all of the lines whenever you tar and chip.”

Bove said Highland Avenue, a residential street which is about 1,500 feet long, needs to be completely resurfaced, making it the borough's most expensive roadway at $70,800.

Although it doesn't see much traffic, Bove said, its surface needs to be taken down by about three inches to install a new two-inch layer of binder, and about 1.5 inches of asphalt.

In addition, Bove estimated Highland Avenue would need an additional $165,250 to install 10 catch basins, a storm-water manhole and new pipelines.

Bove said that Conley Drive, which is used primarily as a shortcut between Route 30 and Caruthers Lane, would cost approximately $51,500 to repair.

“It's primarily used by drivers who want to come from Caruthers and make a left turn onto Route 30,” Bove said.

“You're not allowed to make a left off of Caruthers Lane, so they go down Conley Drive, which brings most of its traffic.”

Bove said Conley Drive also would need additional drainage work.

He estimated it would cost $66,600 to install eight catch basins and piping.

“These drainage projects need done first,” Bove said.

“We don't want to resurface the roads first, because poor drainage has been adding to these roads problems.”

Benko said the drainage work would be covered by the borough's sewer and storm-water fund, not the street paving budget.

Council expected to vote on a finalized list of roads during its meeting last night.

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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