May 5, 2011


Road crews gear up for season

Nearly 3 miles of city streets will be repaved and 3 water mains replaced

RoadsJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland Department of Public Works crews grind the road surface of East Court Street this morning.

Staff Reporter

The city Department of Public Works has started work to repave roads across the city and will replace three water mains this summer.
About 2.8 miles of the city’s streets will be rehabilitated during construction season, said Chris Bistocchi, city DPW superintendent.
Some potholes and storm sewers area also being repaired. There will be no road reconstruction this year.
Bistocchi estimated the cost for road work to be about $543,600, but added in another 6 percent in contingencies, totaling over $576,000. He said the price could fluctuate by the time the city is ready to pave in June or July.
“That estimate is to the best of my knowledge,” Bistocchi said. “I don’t have a crystal ball.”
Bistocchi said the city tries to do six to eight streets a year, but is doing more now due to a harsh winter.
“We’re spending the money this year so we don’t have a bigger mess next year,” Bistocchi said.
Repaving will include parts of Clayton, Delaware, Helen and Raymond avenues, Kinney Lane, and East Court, Evergreen, Madison, Main, Pendleton and Union streets.
The crews have already ground all of the streets except for East Court and Pendleton streets, which should be done this week, Bistocchi said Wednesday.
The repairs on East Court and Pendleton Streets could be particularly tricky, Bistocchi said, since there are still bricks underneath the asphalt.
Crews will have to grind down the asphalt, remove the bricks, and back-fill before replacing the asphalt.
The first water main replacement started this week on Madison Street, from Main Street to Homer Avenue. That will likely take until the end of the month, Bistocchi said.
From there, the DPW workers will move to Clayton Avenue, between Main Street and Stevenson Street, to replace that water main.
He said he scheduled it to last through June, while the college is not in session.
Another water main will be replaced in July on Raymond Avenue between Delaware Avenue and the dead-end. Bistocchi said he waited last for this main since it is near the entrance to Barry Elementary School and wanted school to be out.
Bistocchi said the city saves at least $80,000 through agreements with other towns in the county. In return for the city’s ground up asphalt that is removed from the streets, the towns haul fresh blacktop to the city when it is time for the city to pave around July.
Road work this year will fully expend the remainder of a bond issued in 2009 for road repair and money the city is likely to get from the state Consolidated Highway Improvement Program.
Last year the city received about $229,000 in CHIPS money, and is expecting about the same amount this year, Bistocchi said.
It costs about $60,000 to repave a city block, Bistocchi said, so the CHIPS money covers about three to four streets — depending on length and width.
Bistocchi said in the future he would prefer the city to avoid borrowing for road construction, since the bonds are not paid off for decades.
Future generations will be paying for roads they are likely to not even drive on, he said.
Instead, Bistocchi said he would like to see a line item in the budget and money put aside specifically for street rehabilitation.


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