Paving Program Status Update for the week of 8/8/16
This coming week, the Town of Bethlehem Highway Department will be working to complete paving restoration (driveway aprons) on McKinley Drive, Woodbine Road, Chestnut Road, Willow Drive, Spruce Court, Leaf Road and Oak Road. The department will also be milling and paving Roweland Avenue, Nathaniel Blvd, Stratton Place and McMillan Place, as well as paving Gardner Terrace and Dyer Terrace.
Bethlehem maintains over 175 miles of local town roads and its resurfacing program is designed to pave 12 to 13 miles of roadway each year; allowing the town to resurface each town road every 12 to 13 years. According to town officials, there are many variables involved in making the decision on which streets need our attention and which streets can wait. The age of the blacktop, traffic conditions (vehicle volume and weight), the structural stability of the sub-base, the severity of Northeast winters, the conditions when the existing pavement was put in place and how good the blacktop mix was prepared all have a bearing on how long a road surface will sustain itself.
According to the town website, blacktop pavement deteriorates on a scale similar to a bell curve–it remains in very good shape for a number of years but, once it starts to show wear, it fails at a rapid rate. If this failure is not caught and corrected within a short time frame, it could mean much more extensive repairs above and beyond a thin overlay of new blacktop. Failure of the roadway pavement causes a poor riding / walking surface and allows ponds of storm water to accumulate, which causes potholes and extensive cracking that requires costly routine maintenance and generates safety concerns for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Every two to three years the town does a system-wide road assessment on pavement conditions where it rates the 175 miles of town highways, conducted by two experience paving crew leaders. A sidewalk condition assessment is expected to be added to the program in the near future. This assessment provides the basis for where the town focuses its efforts to preserve pavement integrity.
The 2016 Paving Program was approved by the Town Board on June 10, 2015. The map and list of streets to be paved is linked below.
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