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Lewis County plans to repave close to 13 miles of roads

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LOWVILLE — The Lewis County Highway Department is proposing to repave nearly 13 miles of county roads next year.

However, the tentative list, presented by Highway Superintendent David L. Becker to the Board of Legislators’ Transportation Committee last week, is subject to change.

“This isn’t in stone,” Mr. Becker said. “Not at all.”

The plan includes three road segments that would have to be reprofiled — grinding down the surface asphalt to provide a better base — before paving because of their poor condition. They are 1.7 miles of East Road and two miles of Fish Creek Road, both in the southern part of the county, and one mile of Woodbattle Road in the town of Harrisburg. It likely will take several more years before those roads are completely redone, Mr. Becker said.

Less costly repaving work would be done on 2.9 miles of Factory, McCoy and Henry roads in the town of Diana to complete that county road loop, one mile each of Liberty Road in the town of Montague and Van Amber Road in the town of New Bremen and a 0.7-mile stretch on Station Road in the town of Denmark. A 0.3-mile section of Whitesville Road in the town of Pinckney is slated for hot-mix paving.

The work on Van Amber Road would nearly complete that multiyear project, with the balance likely to be done in conjunction with a bridge replacement project tentatively slated for 2015, Mr. Becker said.

Outside the regular paving program, the county plans to use Federal Emergency Management Agency funds, allocated as partial reimbursement for spring 2011 flood damage costs, to repave two additional miles of Liberty Road, leaving only one mile of the four-mile-long road to do in another year, he said.

Most of the FEMA funding initially was earmarked for replacement of a washed-out bridge on Herman Bush Road in the town of West Turin. However, county officials ultimately decided it would not get enough use to warrant the expense.

Committee members questioned the wisdom of doing so much work on Liberty Road in a single year, given that it does not see a high volume of traffic.

Legislator Charles R. Fanning, R-Copenhagen, said he would like to see some of that work spread to other parts of the county and asked whether the money could be spent instead to repave more of the roads in most need of repair, such as Fish Creek Road.

By taking away one mile of paving on Liberty Road, the county could add 0.7 of a mile to a project on one of the roads that require reprofiling, Mr. Becker said. However, such a change would have to be reviewed to ensure that it would maximize state Consolidated Highway Improvement Program funding, he said.

“That decision doesn’t have to be made today,” Mr. Becker said. “We can mull that over.”

Rutting and cracking also are starting to show up on several other county roads, so they will have to be addressed sooner or later, he said.

The regular paving program is projected to cost $1.34 million, leaving about $43,000 in the $1.38 million paving budget to account for any cost increases for materials or other unexpected overages.

If no such increases crop up, the excess funding could be used to extend one or more projects or add new ones.

Peter J. Wood, Lewis County’s director of solid waste management, also reported to the committee that recycled glass collected at the county transfer sites is being taken to Jefferson County, where it is run through that county’s glass crusher and then can be used as a road base.

“We’re not putting it in a landfill, and it’s getting a use,” he said.

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