Road Work Begins

With just a little luck from the weather, repaving of five roads that need it desperately will be finished by the end of the month. Work scheduled to commence on October 7 has already begun.

Each road will be milled to the proper depth for a long life and then be repaved. Cannondale Road goes first, then Old Mill Road, then Codfish Lane and High Noon Road, and then Steep Hill Road.

Milling will be done through most or all of the week of October 7. It can be done regardless of weather. Paving is weather-dependent. That work should begin during the week of October 14 in the same order of roads.

While milling and paving is underway, roads will not be closed, but will be restricted to one lane at various times. This could affect the on-time performance of school buses.

Oversight and Adjustments

The work is being supervised by Town Engineer John Conte. First Selectman Chris Spaulding and Town Administrator Jonathan Luiz are involved to a high level of detail. On Thursday evening, the Board of Selectmen accepted the resignation of Public Works Director Lou Martirano.

The only remaining question this week was how far the work can extend down Steep Hill Road, given available funds. The original target was to start at Old Hyde Road and pave down to Tannery Lane South.

On September 12, the Board of Finance was asked to draw $264 thousand from reserves so the rest of Steep Hill could be paved as well. The request was not approved, as a majority of members decided it could wait until a more comprehensive view is developed of all Weston road maintenance needs.

Two weeks later, when a final, corrected quote from the contractor arrived, there was concern the money would run out before reaching Tannery Lane South. So, last Thursday night, the Selectmen and Finance boards met jointly and approved a $90 thousand special appropriation to make sure paving wouldn't come up short on Steep Hill.

If contingency funds in the original budget are not needed for unforeseen conditions, it is possible little or none of the extra $90 thousand will be spent, and can be returned to reserves. Either way, it is now certain paving will extend from Old Hyde Road all the way to Tannery South.

A Longer View

A view appears to be unanimous among members of the boards of Selectmen and Finance that a more methodical, data-driven, forward-looking approach is needed for planning and budgeting road maintenance. One will be in place very soon. It will produce the desired comprehensive, town-wide view.

By the end of this month, an analysis of every Weston road by engineering consultants Beta Group Inc. will be complete. The company will have scanned pavement in 10-foot sections, assessed its condition, and loaded the data into a central system.

Ongoing assessments will be performed regularly and the database updated. The system will give Town officials the ability to view the data from almost any perspective to make budget and work plan decisions. It will be put to use almost immediately. The Town's budget planning for next fiscal year begins in November.

Also in Weston Today...