Select Board wants residents to understand the cost and procedures of road work

By Mary Macedo | Aug 28, 2017
Photo by: Mary Macedo

Why work on a road that doesn't need to be fixed? It is the question many residents ask, Chairman Frank Gracie said at the Select Board meeting on August 28.

At the Select Board meeting, Department of Public Works Director David Hickox presented a detailed analysis of the road conditions in Dartmouth, along with the cost of road repairs and how to keep the roads from deteriorating.

Hickox showed a map of the current state of the roads in Dartmouth and how they rate.

Gracie complimented Hickox on his work, as well as his crew, who keep the streets in such great shape. Gracie explained that driving through the areas surrounding Dartmouth shows how much better Dartmouth's streets are compared to the other cities and towns in the area.

Gracie explained that town residents are always asking about what streets are being fixed and why.

"People relate to roads because they're on them everyday," Gracie said.

Board member Shawn McDonald voiced a similar concern that residents don't realize what goes into maintaining the streets and how much it costs.

McDonald said that residents always ask why good roads are being worked on before the bad roads.

Hickox explained that continuously maintaining those roads keeps them good forever at a cheaper cost than trying to reconstruct bad roads, which would cost the town more money.

The board agreed that the explanation of the costs of different types of roadwork, and felt the map of conditions and rates of roads should be posted online for residents. With the information from Hickox, residents will be able to better understand where the money goes and why.

The Select Board, as well as Hickox and the Department of Public Works are currently working on a Pavement Management Program outlining which roads will be worked on within the next five years.

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