North Huntingdon commissioners stick with original road paving plan
Despite pitches from commissioners hoping to get a few more rough roads in their wards added to this year's paving schedule, North Huntingdon officials are sticking to a five-year plan that tackles the township's worst roads first.
At a recent board meeting, Ward 2 Commissioner Zachary Haigis asked that several streets in the Country Hills section be included.
“The streets I'm concerned about were torn up for sewer-line work last summer,” Haigis said. “The residents already were inconvenienced while the project was being done. I don't think they should continue to suffer for another year until the roads are paved properly.”
Haigis said the roads he wants paved are Laurel Avenue and Country Hills and Crestview drives.
“The roads I would like to see done are drivable, but the areas where the (utility) work was done are sinking,” he said. “And after the hard winter we've had, they've gotten worse.”
The township has agreements with utilities that serve the municipality to share the cost of rebuilding roads when underground lines are replaced or serviced, said Rich Albert, the public-works director.
“The utilities would normally only be responsible for returning a road to its previous condition when they have to tear up the pavement to do work,” Albert said. “But several years ago, we decided that when possible, it's smarter for us to add to what the utilities spend for paving and have the road rebuilt instead of just resurfaced.”
The agreements call for the work to be performed within two years after the utilities have completed a project, Albert said.
This will be the second consecutive year that the township has earmarked about $700,000 for road paving, Albert said. Prior to 2013, North Huntingdon spent about $400,000 for such work, he said.
Haigis said that because the roads in his ward eventually will be rebuilt, the municipality could do the work this year and then wait for reimbursement for the utilities' portion of the project.
While Commissioner Tom Krause, who represents the 6th Ward, did not present a specific list of streets he would like to see added to the paving list, he said there is no shortage of roads that need attention.
“We use a system to grade the condition of our roads from ‘A' to ‘F' and there are 46 of them in my ward that scored between a ‘D' and an ‘F'” he said. “So you couldn't really go wrong by adding any of the F's to the paving list.”
Township manager John Shepherd said the five-year paving plan was created to serve as a guideline to ensure that the worst roads are fixed first, so “there's room for flexibility.”
“If a street requires immediate attention because it poses a safety hazard, we're not going to ignore it because it's not on the list,” he said. “But the list does give us a way to plan work.”
In addition to a road's condition, grades are assigned based on factors such as traffic volume and whether they are traveled by heavy trucks, said Mike Turley, the township's assistant manager.
Albert said adding to the paving list could create logistical problems.
“Obviously, we would have to spend more money, which is something the commissioners certainly could do if they choose to,” he said. “But more paving means the time to complete the work could become an issue. As it is now, we're already doing paving work well into November, which is pretty late in the year.”
For asphalt to bond correctly, the outside temperature must be warm enough for the material to remain pliable while it is being spread and compacted, he said.
“I know there's been suggestions that we hire a private contractor to do some of the extra work,” he said. “But I don't believe we'd be getting the most bang for our buck if we do it.”
Albert estimates that hiring a private contractor can increase the cost of a paving project by about 30 percent.
Tony LaRussa is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626 or at email@example.com
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Norwin High School health teacher charged with selling heroin
- Janitor gets $72,500 in Norwin settlement
- North Huntingdon’s Lincoln Way slated for paving
- Natural causes cited in North Huntingdon motel death
- Volunteers could shave $100K off Lamp expense
- State-level uncertainty clouds Norwin budget work
- Irwin woman pens book for transition to kindergarten
- North Huntingdon announces snowman winners